|Address:||Avenue du Lycée, 77305 Surville|
|Work Type:||new built|
|Number of Storeys:||10-storey|
|Type of Building:||tenement / apart. house [detached]|
|Number of Units:||37|
The project for a residential ten-storey tower uses some of the principles of the speculative office block to achieve flexibility in housing. It is also one of the pioneering participatory schemes. Long-span concrete floors create an unobstructed area so that each dwelling unit is without cross-walls or intermediate columns. Four units are grouped around a central core containing communal staircase and lift. Each unit of 13.5 by 6.3 metres is divided into a planning module of 90cm. The only defining element in the otherwise open space is a core of 0.9 by 1.8 metres, just opposite the entrance door, within which all service functions rise and drop. A balcony wraps around the full perimeter of each unit, providing external space for every room.
Occupants, as far as they were known when the planning process began, were involved in the design of their apartment. Within the standard shell, each occupant could choose how their respective space would be subdivided, as well as the appearance of the facade by being able to determine the position of standardised external panels.
The limitation within which the occupants had to work was the dimension of the planning module, which gave typical room widths of 90cm (a corridor or store), 180cm (a bathroom or small bedroom) 270cm (a bedroom or small living space) and 360cm(living spaces). The internal room partitions were made from hollow core chipboard, 2.5 metres high and 35 mm thick. These panels are held in place with friction screws. Whilst the architects initially prepared ten hypothetical apartment plans to illustrate the inherent possibilities of the system to prospective occupants, no family adopted any of the plans shown. Instead they quickly mastered the design of their own layouts on squared paper, particularly when the exercise was done in the actual spaces. In the end, no two plans were the same.
Arsène-Henry, L., and X. Arsène-Henry, 'La Défense, Immeuble, Montereau, Bordeaux le Lac', Techniques et Architecture, 1973, pp. 94-98.
Deilmann, H., J. C. Kirschenmann, and H. Pfeiffer, Wohnungsbau. The Dwelling. L'habitat. 3rd edn, Stuttgart: Karl Krämer Verlag, 1973.
Periàñez, M., L’habitat évolutif: du mythe aux réalités, Paris: PCA, 1993.
Rabeneck, A., D. Sheppard, and P. Town, 'Housing flexibility?' Architectural Design, 43, 1973, pp. 698-727. Rabeneck, A., D. Sheppard, and P. Town, 'Housing flexibility / adaptability?' Architectural Design, 44, 1974, pp. 76-91.