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6a Architects has won an Anglo-French competition to design affordable housing on the outskirts of Paris.

The London practice teamed up with local firm Kapok to scoop the Initiative Unité competition, one of a series of contests run by CABE and its French equivalent, the Direction de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine.

The 2,800m 2 scheme will create 35 to 40 low-cost homes in Senart new town, founded in 1975. Built around a 'public green', the three-storey flats will be clad in pale pink cement board to echo 'the farmsteads of the Low Countries'. A residents' hall between this courtyard and a communal garden will house a range of leisure activities.

The five buildings, two of which have been designed by Kapok, will reflect the surrounding area, which is rich in mature trees.

6a Architects' Tom Emerson said: 'On the shaded northern facade the pink cement cladding is patterned with vertical striations of moss, extending the rhythm and tactility of the trees. The pink cladding was chosen carefully for its inherent ability to fade and as a complement to the abundant greens in the neighbourhood.' l See page 20 for another Initiative Unité competition-winning scheme by John Thompson & Partners.

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