City Lofts

Without doubt, one of the more difficult planning projects we have had to tackle to date.

The plot was purchased with the expectation that it would not allow a feasible project. Fronted on both a Noisy boulevard to the south but also a discrete/charming and "remote" neighborhood to the north, shear height differences between them, envelope limitations from a back side street, awkward plot geometry/shape for planning and for parking, street level differences, excavated plot and risky neighboring structures, alongside encroachments on five different plot limits. This is not a plot meant for development, it is a leftover plot from various gauche road and infra structure planning decisions. 

Programmatically: maximum number of apartments with maximum 130sqm in sellable area, but also maximum number of units with terrace extensions and special features (duplex or villa types). Optimized total sellable area is a usual objective with some common functions to be integrated (roof pool, shared gym, shared working space, additional guest parking area).

 Such was the starting point.

The plot is surrounded by a rich and pixel urban context, composed of small plots with existing small four or five floors structures of modest footprint, with few recent larger/odd high rises mushrooming here and there.

In "simili", we desired a "bundle" of small towers as opposed to a single, heavy and bulky mass.

We also designed a base cutting clearly with the ground. An almost direct extrusion of the legal allowances there, rising for about 11m, clad in rough brick

This composition reflects the design approach; severing ties with the pavement, while the upper part fans out to create more interaction with the elements. In addition, the movement of the volumes allowed an alignment of each to a site limit angle; while being eschewed in respect to each other, the internal layouts of practically all the units are clean, orthogonal and efficient.

They appear as if carved out of the "legal"  prism allowance.

The base houses a retail shop but also two additional parking floors accessed from the pleasant neighborhood side. Each of the tower houses a single unit, making it very recognizable from afar. "My" apartment or my duplex is in "that" specific building;

An additional layer of complexity comes from the envelop limits/gabarit which are taken advantage of to generate terraces on different floors, therefore also generating a diversity in the offering of types in this project. This makes is closer to a grouping of residences rather than a repetitive typical floor apartment building, a vertical neighborhood.

This sculpture is crowned by terraces, some private and some commonly shared, dressed with plunge pool overlooking the Mediterranean blue in the deep horizon.