Urban Infill

Location: Paris, France
Project: Housing

Advisor: John Enright

Prize: 2nd Place at the Paris Affordable Housing Challenge

Urban Infill mines the thousands of open spaces located throughout Paris in the shape of its urban court-yards to use as added affordable housing sites.

This  project utilizes the forgotten spaces that exist everywhere in Paris,  filters them by size and fills them. The Parisien courtyard blocks are  born a new with a core that create a new community by offering the top  floor to the residents of the entire block, dedicating it to a communal  garden and leisure area. The following floors below are dedicated to  micro units for the generation that can't leave their parents  home.

The proposed 1037 masses respect the basic building distance  regimentation and sun/cross ventilation requirements of the existing  context. In total there is 1.969.713 m2 of added area and 6.354.253 m3  of volume added throughout the city, with this method the amount of  housing in the city increases by 81.500 new 15m2/30m2 units in the  center of Paris which represent up to 135.000 people that can finally  move into the city.  

The proposed 1037 masses respect the basic building distance  regimentation and sun/cross ventilation requirements of the existing  context. In total there is 1.969.713 m2 of added area and 6.354.253 m3  of volume added throughout the city, with this method the amount of  housing in the city increases by 81.500 new 15m2/30m2 units in the  center of Paris which represent up to 135.000 people that can finally  move into the city.  

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Urban Mass Generation

 

In  the past few centuries with the population growth and urban emigration  en mass to cities where millions live where thousands used to, the  situation has mutated not to housing quality but to the lack thereof,  thus, the need for densification has increased.  

Europe  as a region that holds immense history through its standing  architecture is a particular complex situation where the need for more  is supplanted by regulations and height limitations, thus, Urban Infill  offers a branched typology as a solution within the existing parameters  found in the city, the objects generated through various sets of  proportions.

The  proposal is effectively invisible to the 35 million tourists that visit  Paris yearly and enjoy the beautiful boulevards and typical  architecture and feed the city making it its biggest economic input,  while still densifying the 2.4 million habitant city center which is  currently the second most expensive city worldwide, this proposal as a  whole not only alters Paris entire urban fabric but by bringing 81.500  micro units, it houses the thousands of people that just need a home.

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Study of Typical Mass

 

The overall shape of the objects are  all created according to the same set of rules creating 1037 buildings  that are produced by the city to its most fundamental aspects, from the  need of housing to the its shape.  

The  process starts with the offset of the outline of the selected 1037  courtyard outlines in a logic where the courtyards existing building  height is used to produce the proportion of the offset distance, thus  1/3 of the existing height is offset to the interior of the courtyard  outline as a buffer between the context and the new courtyard mass,  furthermore the tapering of the courtyard mass according to basic sun   needs for the existing buildings allow an even greater buffer creating  an open and light space. 

The  micro units due to their variability of floor plan exist as open spaces  with a functional wall module that holds storage, kitchen and bathroom  contained in it, these modules would also be prefabricated offsite and  assembled onsite, the modules would stack up vertically for a simple  piping scheme across all the proposed masses.

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Detail

 

The  construction process of the proposed 1037 masses would use the regions  material of choice for its base structure, concrete would serve as  sturdy and long lasting foundation and core for the stairwell and  elevator while using more sustainable light steel framing for the rest  of the building, by utilizing this method the buildings can be cut into  smaller pieces to ease the logistics of building within a courtyard,  these pieces would be prefabricated off location to minimize the  construction time within the residential courtyard. The curtain wall  system would be produced alongside the steel framing system and quickly  put into place.

The Glazing material would be Low-E  two  layered frosted glass to allow sufficient thermal qualities while still  allowing plenty of refracted sunlight into all the units.  

The  exterior look of the proposed masses utilizes minimal opaque surface to  create a sense openness in an already very dense and crammed area,  while the frosted glass ensure basic privacy needs are met for the new  courtyard residents. By not utilizing simple glass the issue with glass  glare and interior greenhouse effect is eliminated while still retaining  its most positive characteristics.

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