Lot 4.2 is part of the new Clichy-Batignolles mixed development area and is located at the edge of boulevard Pereire, at the meeting point of two different periods in the history of Paris’ urban development. The building plays a key role in linking these two architectural worlds.
The project renders homage to Paris and the 19th-century architecture of the Haussmann building. It seeks to preserve the “intrinsic intelligence of this form,” which has allowed the buildings constructed during the Haussmann period to survive many changes and grow with the city, providing multiple, often very different uses of the same building.
The Haussmann building was designed originally as a place of residence for the bourgeoisie, but it revealed itself to be an extraordinarily open architecture capable of incorporating other uses besides habitation: offices, stores, workshops, schools, etc. There are common characteristics in all these architectures that lie at the base of this flexibility: a clear structure, a ground floor that is accessible from the street and which can extend to include the mezzanine, a wealth and variety of door and window openings to allow for the construction of all kinds of plans, variable heights in the floors, adequate thickness, and a high level of compactness.
We consider these values as the great heritage of the Parisian building and have sought to translate them into an architecture that forms part of the city’s current logic, but which also offers solutions to current and future challenges.
The design of the façade for Lot 4.2 uses a structural pattern similar to the office buildings (four feet). It alternates one full module with two empty ones, which correspond to the window openings. Together with the core of the circulation, this ensures the building’s structure. The height between floors is 10 feet, halfway between the standard height for residential housing (nine feet) and that for office buildings (11 feet). The commercial ground floor includes part of the first floor; its slightly different treatment indicates its urban character.
The ornamentation borrows various elements from the Haussmann style, especially the horizontal stretchers that mark the piano nobile, as well as the proportion of fullness and emptiness.
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.