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The paper crèche, Paris, France

A densification of the heart of the island requalifies a positive landscape offered to residents?

In Belleville, at the foot of a vast HLM (Habitat à Loyer Modéré) ensemble.  In the place of a neglected sports field, we now find an abstract object – part garden, part science fiction spaceship.  The pleated brass surface on the west facade reflects the ‘bling bling’ of a rap video which will soon be replaced by an earthy patina.  It is a nursery, but for local residents, it is a landscape object, built to age gracefully.

A landlocked terrain that can be opened if you look on the bright side?

The nursery cannot be seen from the street: a canopy marks the entrance which leads the visitor into the heart of the island passing through the buildings on the street.  Once inside, the children forget the walls of buildings they passed, simply because the rooms open out onto a courtyard.  The crèche is set on one level, articulated by "boxes", structured, ventilated, lit by a central shed.  The façade of this side is not more mysterious and the children are able to recognize the boxes that emerge from the wall: changing room, a sleeping room.

Does the building need to demonstrate its environmental qualities?

Compact design and very good natural lighting, envelope performance, air change rates, materials... nothing is guaranteed.  Most are invisible, some are technical (motorized openers for summer evenings, technology to maintain the waterproof seal of the building ...) or a form of opportunism within the constraints of the site: the building is located on an existing parking facility, the structure, steel and wood was delivered through a kind of burrow in the building on the street.  This lightweight construction meant that the existing infrastructure did not need reinforcing; it is an invisible economy of money, but also gray energy that boosts the building's carbon footprint.  The green roof is emblematic, it evokes what we know (rain water, biodiversity) and what we learn (watering and fight against ICU (îlot de Chaleur Urbain)) but more than any environmental demonstration, it speaks of a very strong link between architecture and vegetation sometimes produces pretty things.



Paris Habitat OPH
Completion date: 
Zip code: 
46 bis rue Piat


Transparent structures
Type of building: 
Health and social care
Copper used: 


Name, office: 
Wild Rabbits Architects
Address & description: 
30, allée Vivaldi 75012 Paris

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