October 2014

Multi-occupancy housing

  • Résidence EMMA

This social-housing development of 62 apartments, divided into two sections of 31 apartments each, stands on a steep, narrow plot that is complex in shape and lined by two roads sloping in opposite directions. A difficult and awkwardly orientated sloping plot presenting the dual challenge of adapting the groundwork to the site's physical constraints and scaling the two frontages to their respective roadways. Consequently, the section facing Chemin des Ames du Purgatoire is six storeys high whereas on the Avenue Cerruti side the slope is such that eight storeys could be built. The two frontages have therefore been architectured to take this difference of scale into account. On the west frontage, the balconies are set in a "frame" created by a metal-mesh facing and guardrails, while the east side's eight-floor frontage is broken up by alternating the solid walls of outdoor stores on every other floor with masonry parapets and metal guardrails.

Opinion of jury

"It isn't always easy to achieve the ultimate expression of one's intentions since the building process is always subject to endless vagaries. Here it is evident that the architect's declaration of intent has been respected. This is the very essence of an architect's work, meaning finding ways, in conception and execution, to bring the project to fruition and deal in advance with the problems that may crop up during construction."