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'Uninhabitable' Paris building gets a new lease on life

A complete refurbishment turned a small, unhealthy building into a functional family home

The building had to be entirely recreated, only architecture, brick, building, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, home, house, interior design, living room, loft, property, real estate, room, stairs, stone wall, table, wall, wood, gray
The building had to be entirely recreated, only keeping the outer building envelope, which was remodelled as well.

By Alia Bengana & Capucine de Cointet architects

From the architects:

This small building tucked away in the back of a courtyard in Paris' 10th district formerly housed small, dark apartments over two levels that were not well suited for habitation.  

“Given the presence of mould in particular, we had to entirely recreate the building, only keeping the outer building envelope, which was remodelled as well,”  architects Alia Bengana and Capucine de Cointet say.


The owners’ brief was to make the place fit for a family while managing the construction and the site in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The project took 8 months. 

The small building became a comfortable 120m² family home spread over 4 levels. In addition to the ground floor and first and second floors, 38m² of vaulted basements are now home to the laundry room and a multi-purpose space that can be used as a game room or home cinema.

Certain levels were opened with half-height floors in architecture, building, ceiling, daylighting, floor, furniture, house, interior design, loft, property, room, window, gray, black
Certain levels were opened with half-height floors in order to capture as much light from the south as possible.

“Our main focus was letting as much light as possible in the house while still maintaining the privacy of the residents,” the architects say. 

“This is a typical Parisian apartment with a small courtyard where the neighbours are never far away. ”Certain levels were thus opened with half-height floors in order to capture as much light from the south as possible. 

As for the large staircase, located opposite the façade, it is crowned with a glass roof which floods the ground floor with light. And because the spaces are restricted to one exposure (except for the skylights), the architects used glass walls inside, such as in the master bedroom. 

“It diffuses light while allowing the parents to keep an eye on their kids,” they say.

In the bathrooms and the kitchen, the same architecture, bathroom, bathtub, building, ceiling, daylighting, estate, floor, furniture, home, house, interior design, plumbing fixture, property, real estate, room, sink, tile, gray
In the bathrooms and the kitchen, the same hexagonal tiles can be found, but each room has its own colour scheme.

The emphasis was on using raw, simple materials. From the larch for the windows and solid oak for the staircase to the gritstone wall and raw metal for the railings, everything was pared back and simplified.  

“We kept the wall in its patchwork state with its different additions and multiple materials. It’s a witness to the history of this building”. 

In the bathrooms and the kitchen, the same hexagonal tiles can be found, but each room has its own colour scheme. The same goes for the railings and the outside metal, where diagonal lines soften the horizontal and vertical lines.

Planters were buried in order to provide enough alley, architecture, building, courtyard, facade, house, infrastructure, neighbourhood, road, street, town, tree, gray, black
Planters were buried in order to provide enough soil to allow plants to grow that will cover the façade along the wires strung up to the top of the building.

As for environmental performance, the building was insulated from the outside in order not to remove any living space. Recreating the floors allowed for the easy installation of ducts for heat recovery ventilation. 

Finally, planters were buried in order to provide enough soil to allow plants to grow that will cover the façade along the wires strung up to the top of the building.

Credit list

Lighting
Flos – Nemo Lighting
Fittings
Fantini
Windows
Cast Pmr – Vitral
Co-architects
Sanitary
Duravit – Kaldewei – Geberit
Tiles
Mosaic Del Sur – Comptoir Du Cerame
Bathroom wall cement
Marius Aurenti

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: David Cousin-Marsy and Benjamin Chelly

28 Mar, 2021

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