Organic housing project in Paris by SANAA

SANAA designs a social housing complex in the 16th district of Paris. Located at the border of the Bois-de-Boulogne, the biggest park in Paris, the project blends into its surroundings making them traversable.

Like a forest, the structure of the complex is unrecognizable at first glimpse and discovered only circuitously. The four buildings are organized like an ensemble of petrified trees to form a set of courtyards with a small footprint at ground level. Hovering above the ground through pilotis permit a fluid physical and visual continuity between the park and the city. A wink towards the Le Corbusier’s Maison la Roche located in this same district of Paris, seems obvious.

Apartments on Ave. Maréchal Fayolle, SANAA

Effects of depth are also attained throw the interplay of light and shadow. The curved facades generates dynamics of movement making the volumes not purely static objects but are instead subject to changing conditions and temporal processes. The proximity of the buildings might seem tight yet the designers manage with a series of simple highly controlled moves to fill out theses interstitial spaces with many qualities, providing apartments with multiple orientations for natural light, ventilation and views.

The project expresses its sustainable credentials through a relationship to place, proof of this are the spatial considerations related to the immediate surroundings, the subtle references to the architectural context and the response to the environmental conditions. Despite the complexity of the design architects have managed to create a fragmentary whole that compressed both time and space and feels both public and domestic at the same time.

Apartments on Ave. Maréchal Fayolle
Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA
Design team:
Yoshitaka Tanase, Lucy Styles, Louis-Antoine Grego, Johanna Meyer-Grohbrugge, Hiroaki Katagiri, Nobuhiro Kitazawa, Takashi Suo, Guillaume Baron, Riccardo Cannatà, Margot Aurensan
Local architects:
Extra Muros: Michel Levi, Antoine Saubot
Structural concept:
SAPS/Sasaki & Partners, Mutsuro Sasaki, Yoshiyuki Hiraiwa, Ayumi Isozaki, Hideaki Hamada
Structural engineer:
Bollinger & Grohmann Ingenieure
Mechanical engineer:
BETOM Ingénierie
Environment consultant:
Cost estimating consultant:
Bureau Michel Forgue
Extra Muros + SANAA
Paris Habitat
Site area:
4,650 smq
Built area:
2,127 smq
Total floor area:
12,125 smq
Design dates:
from april 2007 to august 2015
Construction dates:
from september 2016 to december 2018

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