Moussafir: Tetris

Respecting the surroundings and creating a rhytmical façade, the French architecture studio proposes a social housing block that also integrates artist's studios.

French architecture studio Moussafir Architects have completed Tetris, a social housing and artist studio project in Paris, France. The Tetris houses are part of a larger program aimed to revitalise a squalid neighborhood in the north of the city, promoted by SIEMP, a public enterprise specialized in difficult sites (tight plots and enclaves), with a surgical, case-by-case approach to the revitalisation of the city.

The project was realised in a collaboration between the City, neighbourhood associations and the site's landlord, and determined the creation of new and refurbished affordable housing, as well as studios for artists and musicians. Integrated in a larger project, the three plots assigned to Moussafir Architects were shaped by two main considerations: to stay in harmony with the neighbourhoodʼs scale and density, and maximizing the space and daylight available to future residents. The plot's tiny dimensions determined the construction of a single apartment per floor, and taking advantage of the building's North-South orientation, living spaces are given generous, ample space.
Moussafir Architects, Tetris
Top and above: Moussafir Architects, Tetris social housing and artist's studios, Paris, France 2010
Common social housing standards restrict the size of apartments, which caused the architects to differentiate interior volumes by creating an expressive façade with multiple openings, which nevertheless neatly integrate with the surroundings. Large frame-like iroko wood juts serve as distinguishing marks for each apartment. The first-floor bedroom is placed upon the ground-floor living room, and so forth. The shift in floor plates helps create individualized layouts for each unit while optimising space occupancy. Full-height, wood-framed bow windows make the amplified volume of day zones instantly readable on the buildingʼs exterior. Ateliers are treated in a similar way, highlighting the contemporary merger of the home and workspace.
Moussafir Architects, Tetri
Moussafir Architects, Tetris social housing and artist's studios, Paris, France 2010

Moussafir Architectes:
Tetris, social housing and artist studios
Architects: Moussafir Architectes
Design team: Jacques Moussafir with Alexis Duquennoy (architect project manager)
Structural engineering: SIBAT
Electrical engineering: SIBAT
Mechanical engineering: SIBAT
Site supervision: Alexis Duquennoy
Other consultants: architect Patrick Céleste, urban planning consultant for the area
Contractors: SRC
Client: SIEMP (Société Immobilière à Economie Mixte de la Ville de Paris)
Site area: 449 m2 (132 m2 + 106 m2 + 211 m2)
Built area (footprint): 293 m2 (79 m2 + 64 m2 + 150 m2)
Total Gross Floor area: 794 m2 (218 m2 + 189 m2 + 387 m2)
Usage: Housing 86%, Artist Studios 14%
Cost: 1.460.000 € excluding VAT (as of 2008)
Completion: June 2010
Materials: concrete masonry, plaster, lime stucco, wood

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