The architect Sou Fujimoto has designed for the City of Light a spectacular building where light, efficiency and comfort will prevail.
The word innovation does not always go hand in hand with the famous I+D+I. In fact, it can be said that something innovative does not have to be achieved by investing unhealthy amounts of money. Sometimes, it’s as simple as launching an architecture contest and waiting for the results. This has been done by the companies Compagnie de Phalsbourg and REI Habitat, which will build in Paris one of the most striking and innovative housing complexes: The Vertical Village.
The design, by the avant-garde architect Sou Fujimoto (whom the most common readers already know), in the company of Nicolas Laisné and Dimitri Roussel, former partners in the architecture studio Laisné Roussel, was the winner of a contest to locate a new tower in Rosny-sous-Bois, a population of 45,000 inhabitants west of Paris, in Seine-Saint-Denis, from where you can reach the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum or the Pompidou Center in thirty minutes.
The wonderful multipurpose complex will occupy an area of 28,300 square meters, within which 17,000 will be allocated, at least 5,000 for social housing, about 5,300 square meters for office and small business use and, the pump: 6,000 meters squares for common uses, distributed between the ground floor and the roof.
The Vertical Village, its original name, will be a wooden and metal structure 120 meters long and will become the new gate of this area of the city. The idea is to turn this building into a point of attraction of the metropolis, complementing the surrounding services (the Rosny 2 shopping center is very close), and giving a new dynamic impulse to the inhabitants of the place.
Although the economic items for the execution of the project have not been defined, it is expected that it will begin before June 2020, ending in September 2023. The mayor, Claude Capillon, says that “it is a bold, innovative and ecological project” and, about the famous Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, says (cheerfully) that “he is one of the best architects in the world. It is a great pride to have brought him to Rosny-sous-Bois, where he had never set foot» (political stuff).
The complex will be divided into two buildings, reaching the highest 50 meters thanks to its 17 floors. In the lower area, two floors of underground parking, on its ground floors, a multitude of green areas and open spaces, the offices will occupy the first four floors of the main tower, in addition, there will be a rooftop bar-restaurant. All this will be accompanied by food areas, a nursery, community centers, playgrounds and, of course, a sports center with a spectacular climbing wall, indoor football, paddle tennis and gym (120 meters long give a lot).
Fujimoto never hides, and the design eminently carries his vision of the World. A World populated by white columns of little size, which hold canopies oriented differently, with a lot of glass, trying to make the construction seem as least heavy as possible (do you get it?). It is also evident that it tries to introduce the greatest possible natural connections, creating a multitude of balconies where to house green areas.
Looking at the design, one can think that everything is a bit “crazy” and lacking in criteria, nothing is further from reality, the presence of misaligned balconies and pergolas produces a multitude of shadows, at the same time they serve to return light to the surface, thus improving the thermal performance of the facade, favoring the introduction of light, but not heat (Bravo!). They serve, these elements, to protect the users from the wind, in addition, the different horizontal and vertical bars are, sometimes, plumbing or dirty water pipes.
The residents of the 150 apartments that will be executed will have to learn some botany, given that one of the participants in the project, the landscape studio Atelier Georges, has put all its good work into operation. In this way, they have chosen the flora (which is not fauna) according to the orientation of the facades: white birches, ivy, hops or Europhobic cypresses to the west (towards the Avenida de General de Gaulle), in clear contrast with the east, where there will be dogwood, bract honeysuckle, or peonies from China.
As in any major work worth its salt, designers have had the help of several professionals from different branches, in which Elioth Structure, Apave, Casso & Associés, Ascaudit or the acoustics specialists Méta Acoustique have collaborated. The project is part of the new way of doing architecture, interrelating luxury residential spaces, with social housing, leisure with sports culture, well-being with office or commercial areas, spaces for learning and innovation with the promotion of green areas (there are areas of coworking and urban agriculture).
Images courtesy of © Sou Fujimoto, Nicolas Laisné, and Dimitri Roussel