Student Housing, ZAC Cardinet Chalabre, Paris

In the 17th arrondissement of Paris, the architects at Atelier Phileas have designed an educational complex that is distinguished by both its design and functionality. The centerpiece of this ambitious urban planning project, which aims to give the district a visually striking, sustainable, contemporary and high-quality makeover, sets standards in urban development and fulfills the very highest ecological and energy-saving demands. Equipped with a 500-square-meter, roof mounted photo voltaic system, geothermal heat exchanger and roof and wall greening, this sustainable educational complex almost meets passive house standard requirements. The complex accommodates a daycare facility for children, a 12-stream primary school, a large-scale catering establishment and 152 student flats distributed throughout several buildings of different sizes. Each section may be unique in terms of design and effect, but a uniform morphology can be clearly discerned. One of the most outstanding architectural features is undoubtedly the functional mix: regularity and uniqueness, individuality and community, surface and depth. Brown, earth-colored towers, which look out over the complex like guard posts, rise out of the semi basements clad in vivid green. The facades consisting of  TERRART® baguettes resemble branches or bamboo latticework. Their open, sometimes outward curving arrangement not only allows light and air to penetrate the interior, but also ensures that they provide excellent protection against sunlight in front of the openings. The compact yet airy cladding, which is both warming and allows the sunlight through, does not obscure the view outside. “Great views and sunshine for everyone, wherever they are” – this goal set by the architects can be clearly seen throughout the complex, not just in the facades.

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Francois Dumon
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