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Zac des lilas, crèche and building for young workers, Paris, France

Home for young workers and migrants, 240 studios, a 66 place crèche and shared facilities


The new building of the Régie Immobilière de la Ville de Paris (RIVP) focusses on three areas: migrants, young workers and a crèche for 66 children.  Located in the twentieth arrondissement of Paris, outside the périphérique, it is the link with the Lilac area. Immersed in a complex environment (the périphérique, the steepness of the area, the terrace of an arthouse cinema), the building references the changing levels, creating its own system of "urban balconies" that converse with these new urban strata.

The strength and compactness of the building (COS 5.1!) and the plurality of ideas transform the new homes as "machines for living".  The ground floor is principally occupied by the crèche, we chose to design all public spaces (library, gym, communal kitchen) to R +3.  This provision makes them more accessible to residents, facilitates monitoring and creates an "open" feel to the building.  These "boxes" are arranged freely, creating outdoor spaces, face-to-face with the terrace of the cinemas (on the same level).

Complementing the horizontal layout of the building is a vertical ‘fault’ in the facade in rue du Docteur Gley, this brings natural light into the building creating levels of conviviality on each floor.  Similarly, stairwells all receive natural light, we wanted to encourage the use of these spaces (at the expense of installing an elevator for example).

The building thus presents a contrasting density assumed by a very rational plan and a double break in the facade reducing the volume effect from the street.  Therefore, the overall volume is treated with a homogeneous solid brick skin, promoting sustainability and maintenance.  The two breaks in the facade are clad in copper, whose brightness and reflection contrasted with velvet of the anthracite brick.

The apartment "type" is designed to make full use of the available volume and provide a versatility of spaces (bespoke furniture, mobile wall that can close off the kitchen, fixed frame that allows natural light into the bathroom).

The crèche, located on the ground floor, is orientated such that all units facing south have a high level of comfort. An exterior awning accompanies these spaces, by use of a flexible structure and a fine enveloping metal mesh.

Environmental issues

The compactness of the facade permits large glazing frames of 2x2 m for each studio of 18m².  Perforated metal shutters (repeating the pattern of the brick) are installed on all windows, assuring good thermal comfort.

Two vertical axis wind turbines are installed on the roof. They provide energy to the crèche during the day some heating during the evening.  Estimated energy production of 25 kWh/m² can make a useful contribution to the climate plan of Paris.  This choice of energy production (wind) is still experimental in urban areas but it is particularly appropriate here because the elevation of the allows the turbines to take advantage of the available high winds.  To supplement the wind energy, solar thermal panels are installed on the roof to provide 30% of the hot water requirement for the building.




Completion date: 
Zip code: 


Type of building: 
Health and social care
Copper used: 
Golden alloy


Name, office: 
Chartier Dalix et Avenier Cornejo architectes
Address & description: 



With a portfolio of nearly 55,000 rental units, RIVP is one of the major players in social housing in Paris.  It aims to manage, build and renovate housing, university residences and hotels, and nurseries.


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