This organic housing project in Paris creates a buffer between the dense city streets and the preserved green spaces beyond. Designed by Jakob + Macfarlane, the Harold Housing Project features a smart set of solutions that overcame tight restrictions on building on the reclaimed site. The project was carefully planned to respect the landscape while capturing the sun and adding to the local greenscape. Public and private areas blend seamlessly as the city appears to melt away beneath the preserved trees and breezeways.
Perhaps the apartments’ most impressive statement is their sudden break from the Parisian grid and adaptation of the site where an old hospital was demolished. The buildings are interspersed with gardens and feature an organic form that soaks up the sun.
Each building is composed of a series of terraced layers that rise upward, providing shade for the apartments below. The first floor is reserved for businesses and handicap-accessible apartments, and the floors above reinforce the greenscape with a ribbon of green roof that rises over the exterior walkways.
South-facing patios have ETFE plastic drapes to capture the winter sun and provide a small private winter green house. The unique draped façade also helps heat the building in winter. In summer the porches prevent sun from reaching into the living spaces, reducing cooling needs. The roof hosts a large solar thermal water heating system which supplies the residences with 60% of their hot water needs.
Via Architecture Lab
Lead photo © James Ewing
Photos © Nicholas Borel