The Haussmann building has in fact revealed itself to be an extraordinarily open form of architecture capable of absorbing other uses than its originally intended ones. Their idea has been to exploit this sense of flexibility by creating an architecture that forms part of the city’s current logic, but which also offers solutions to current and future challenges.
The building seeks to anticipate needs and changes by proposing a full reversibility between a residential and an office building. It uses a similar framework as for office buildings; the composition of the façade alternates one full module with two empty ones together with the core of the circulation, this ensures the structure. The size and regularity of the door and window openings, which are identical on the three façades, create a general image of the building without specifically denoting its use.
The volume is a perfect extrusion of the triangular parcel which fully exploits all the plot’s spatial possibilities. Through its flexibility, the project introduces the notion that by emptying an architecture of its program, a building generates potential that will accompany the evolutions in urban development and allow it to respond more readily to changes in use.
This open quality provides certain undeniable advantages to the apartments: with lots of windows and natural light and very spacious, they are all set up around a loggia, an extension of the interior living space towards the exterior, which contributes to ventilation in the summer months. A series of subtle architectural distinctions on the façades compensates for different needs in terms of thermal comfort.
Photo credits: Julien Lanoo