Lucy Wang

Gelin-Lafon Architects' Affordable Mixed-Use Housing Project Is a Little Social Utopia

by , 10/18/13
filed under: Architecture, gallery

rear window, social housing, affordable housing, low-income housing, gelin-lafon, gelin-lafon architects, mixed-use development

Parisian architects Gelin-Lafon unveiled the 58,000 square-foot development earlier this year. Outfitted in sleek enameled ceramic and broad woodwork, the modern mixed-use development is divided into two four-story buildings divided by a long tree-filled courtyard. To promote openness and social interactivity amongst residents, Gelin-Lafon inverted the buildings to face the inner courtyard. The complex features 70 apartments along with three ground-level retail stores that connect the complex with the existing urban fabric.

The 70 social housing apartments vary in style, ranging in size and type to maximize flexibility of use and choice. Within each apartment, floor to ceiling windows take advantage of natural light and offer views over the shared common green. By stacking differently sized apartments, the architects achieved a staggered facade that imbues interest and a sense of individualism into the project.

+ Gelin-Lafon

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  1. sdmattie October 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Looks like the people designing the space never lived in affordable housing or knew anyone who lived in affordable housing. I can see a hundred different issues with this design right off the bat! You have to be able to understand the way the “have nots” in society really live, otherwise you might as well have a built-in police department with this design. Designing is about alot more than making things pretty, they have to serve a purpose for the people living there & for the future of the environment as well. Why do you think so many affordable housing projects get demolished after a while?

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