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Buildings to Share

Conducted under the direction of Charlotte Belval and Pierre Parquet, Belval Parquet Architectes

Upwards of seventy percent of multi-family residential buildings in Paris are organized as condominiums, two-hundred of which have more than 200 units. The majority were built between 1950 and 1980—often by prestigious designers—and must now adapt to today’s climate challenges, the new uses of their residents, neighborhood change, and shared energy ambitions. With the support of the Cheuvreux notary office, architects Charlotte Belval and Pierre Parquet are conducting the “Buildings to Share” research, investigating the potential for change of these large residential complexes through prospective and participatory analyses of three typical condominiums, conducted with their residents: Lutèce 2000 (Paris 11), Le Pressoir (Paris 20), and Le Grand Pavois (Paris 15).

Each of these complexes has its own specific features and needs for further intervention but they all share the potential of the large scale as well as the difficulty of commonality. What solutions are there to reclaim parking facilities that are increasingly neglected? How can the much-needed structural work be financed? How can places for new desired uses be created? How can these large complexes be made more virtuous by using less water and generating less waste? Transformations were thought up with the residents, then studied and analyzed with the Cheuvreux notary office, reflecting the capacity of the condominiums to be upgraded and set an example as to what it possible.
Lutèce 2000 © Philippe Billard
Located within the fabric of former faubourg of the 11th arrondissement of Paris, on a 2.8 acre plot (11,435 m2), Residence Lutèce 2000 is made up of eight high-rises built on piles, amounting to 626 residential units, as well as business premises, three underground parking levels, and shared outdoor areas. Built by architects Jérôme Fau and Pierre Ayel for developer EPI between 1976 and 1981, it is home to 1,177 residents with changing characteristics and expectations. They wish to give new value to the partly unoccupied basement areas, be able to welcome their relatives, to find spaces for remote work, reduce common charges… Discussed with the conseil syndical (the condominium’s advisory body), the project proposed by Belval Parquet opens up simple courses of action to leverage the qualities of the complex, correct its shortcomings, and take full advantage of the existing potential.
Le Pressoir © Philippe Billard
In the case of Residence Le Pressoir, urgent works are needed. Located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris and built by architects Pierre Sonrel, Jean Duthilleul, and Berdj Mikaelian for Société Centrale Immobilière de la Caisse des dépôts (SCIC) between 1963 and 1966, the condominium applies the architectural and urban principles of the time: repetitive construction of buildings around open areas amounting to 5.3 acres (21,610 m2), disconnected from the surrounding urban fabric. In the 1980s, the owner-lessor, Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance (CNP), sold the residential units to its tenants. The current condominium is failing to make the necessary investments to ensure both the structural safety of the buildings and the thermal comfort of its residential units. The analysis has revealed the low density of use of the very large 6.8 acre plot (27,559 m2) and the project therefore proposes to further develop the site with new constructions while offering new services to current residents.
Le Grand Pavois © Philippe Billard
At Le Grand Pavois, a luxury 608-unit residence built in 1969 by Jean Fayeton and Michel Herbert for Cogedim, the ambition of the present scheme primarily concerns the ground floor, which accommodates a range of business facilities. The core of the operation has lost its appeal, as demonstrated by the recent closure of the gas station and the shopping mall. Furthermore, it isn’t accessible to the mobility-impaired from Rue de Lourmel. The neglected spaces should therefore be reclaimed, the carbon footprint of the condominium lowered, the residence made accessible to all, and the large 0.7 acre (2,800 m2) shared garden maintained by the City of Paris taken full advantage of.
Study available on Pavillon de l’Arsenal’s online shop – €13

How can these residences be transformed?

Large condominiums share a set of specific challenges. Today, grants and support mechanisms have been put in place to guide unit owners in the energy retrofit of the buildings, but the upgrading also offers common affordances to once again fully participate in the life of the city. Published in parallel with the architects’ proposals, the analysis of the Cheuvreux notary office provides practical guidance. The publication details the conditions and bodies to be referred to for the sharing of the plot, the arrival of new programs, the implementation of other typologies, as well as the preservation of resources. It reflects the ability to follow an economic and environmentally-friendly approach.
Map of private residential complexes with more than 200 units in Paris © APUR 2020

Belval & Parquet Architectes

Belval & Parquet Architectes was founded in 2017 by Charlotte Belval (1989) and Pierre Parquet (1988). Involved in architecture, urban planning, and research, the studio evaluates the conditions for the making of urban landscapes to inform its practice and develop projects serving the common good. A recipient of several awards, the studio has developed an expertise spanning multiple scales, from erecting multifunctional buildings in dense urban areas to transforming twentieth-century built heritage.

Study conducted with the support of: