The challenge of this project in Nanterre is to create a piece of a city that manages to connect the historic downtown, the surrounding city houses, and the recent, very dense construction projects in the new Sainte-Geneviève mixed development area. As a hybrid between urban development and architecture, its layout redevelops the connections between seemingly dissimilar urban textures, stitching the disparate pieces of the same city together.
The contrasting and assertive heights enables the insertion of these 157 housing units into this singular context, all the while ensuring a certain level of density and a high quality of usage. The medium-sized collective housing buildings look out onto broadly scaled public spaces while smaller collective buildings and stacked houses, which have private gardens or terraces, are positioned along the secondary roadways. The progressive variation of forms and types responds to the challenge of urban and social recomposition, continuity, and diversity.
A major component of the neighborhood is the new public pathway that cuts across the entire project. The individual access points to the housing units are organized into transversal alleys that empty out onto this pedestrian space, providing a sense of porousness and also opening views onto landscaped areas within the block. This mechanism creates adept and smooth transitions between public and private space that reinvent what it feels like to come home, and it also generates bonds between inhabitants who use the open spaces in the middle of the block. This urban alternative is situated between the collective and the individual within this complex urban environment.
The formal and typological diversity mirrors a sense of social diversity (54 social housing units and 103 private units) and as well as to the program (businesses spaces border the main avenue).