Like most parts of Paris, the XI arrondissement is a tightly packed urban area. When it came to designing a new social housing project and child-care centre in the area, architects a+ samueldelmas turned to Aluzinc® to provide residents with privacy and a connection to the very leafy local environment.
Known in French as ‘Cadence et Ouverture’ (Rhythm and Opening), the building includes a child-care centre for 30 children on the ground floor and 12 social housing units on the levels above. It is designed as a box, with the ground floor sliding forward on the plot. This creates a courtyard for the nursery at the back of the building. As the building is situated at the end of the street and next to a park, the architects were also able to include a protected forecourt for the children with direct access to a nearby square.
Ensuring privacy for the residents and children attending the child-care centre was a key consideration for the architects. To solve this problem, a+ samueldelmas chose to clad the building in Aluzinc® coated steel from ArcelorMittal. This unique solution includes Aluzinc® window shutters and facade panels.
Architect Samuel Delmas originally planned to clad the building in galvanised steel: “Then I discovered Aluzinc®! We chose it for its sustainability and aesthetics. Aluzinc® is weather-resistant and durable, but much more homogeneous and finessed than galvanisation. It makes the building feel more like a home rather than an industrial building.”
In order to provide a contrast between the panels and the window coverings, the shutters have linear perforations cut into them. This allows filtered light to flow into the apartments, even when the shutters are closed. Most direct sunlight is blocked, preventing the building from heating-up during summer. On cloudy or cold days, residents can open the shutters fully to allow sunlight into their homes.
As well as the Aluzinc® skin, the building is based on a full steel frame. This allowed the architects maximum flexibility when it came to planning the internal organisation. With a total surface area of 1,000 square metres, the 12 apartments offer between one and three bedrooms. Each apartment has access to green terraces and includes windows which offer views over the surrounding green zones.
Aluzinc® is a metallic coating made up of an aluminium, zinc and silicon alloy. As well as offering guaranteed corrosion resistance, Aluzinc® is famous for its aesthetic qualities. The coating has a natural silvery spangle which reflects the sunlight. The result is a dramatic and constantly changing play of light and shadow depending on the level of sunlight and cloud.
ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products created the Aluzinc® coated steel for this project. The steel was then transformed into ST 440 panels with a hollow joint of 10 mm by ArcelorMittal Construction France. Aluzinc® can be provided with a 25-year guarantee.
Architect: a+ samueldelmas
Client: SEMIDEP-DFPE City of Paris
Engineering Firm: SCOPING-BET TCE-SRC
Photographer: © a+ samueldelmas architectes urbanistes, Kristen Pelou, L'image contemporaine