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Sergison Bates fends off French firms to land mixed-use scheme in Paris

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Sergison Bates has defeated a shortlist of French and Belgian rivals to win a competition to design a €24 million (£20 million) residential-led scheme in central Paris

In collaboration with Nantes-based Bourbouze & Graindorge (B&G), the practice beat three teams: François Brugel and atelier Rita; Joly-Loiret and Dumont-Legrand; and Hart-Berteloot + DVVT (De Vylder Vink Taillieu).

Sergison Bates and B&G will now work with Nantes-based Bourbouze & Graindorge (B&G) on its design for 181 flats, alongside industrial workspace, a café and other commercial space.

The duo is designing just one quarter of the development set for the 3.2ha Saint-Vincent-de-Paul site. The area was once home to a convent, which was later repurposed into a hospital.

Around 60 per cent of the overall 61,000m2 development, by Paris Habitat, will be realised through reusing existing buildings.

However, Sergison Bates and B&G’s scheme will replace obsolete structures with three new buildings. 

The practices will also oversee the revamp of one existing building, an old laundry.

Consultation on the project will begin next month, with work expected to start on site in August 2021. 

373 p2

373 p2

Source: Sergison Bates and Barbouze & Graindorge

Architects view

The project focuses on the space between buildings as much as on the buildings themselves. Covered canopies organise access to the halls, common spaces and bicycle parking, and the continuity of the ‘common ground’ is reinforced by the buildings’ chamfered edges, which create generous, open public spaces.

The project is permeable at ground level. The main north-south circulation axis allows pedestrians to move through the project from Avenue Denfert-Rochereau to the north of the site via generous porticoes and loggias, while a secondary route connects the central courtyard to the old laundry building and the perimeter pathway.

The robust structural facade with its repeated openings, the central core and perimeter rooms make the building flexible and adaptable. Interior layout can vary on different floors and adapt to changing social, economic or functional needs over time.

On the lower ground of the buildings workspaces naturally lit by the so-called cours Anglaises invite cultural, creative and productive uses. The mix of uses in close proximity determines the character of the relationship between the buildings and public spaces and potentially makes for a diverse and vibrant environment.

The buildings’ architecture is respectful of the site’s heritage, with brick being the primary facade material. Detailed as a load-bearing protective skin in 220mm thickness, it will incorporate bonding details and different brick types that emphasise the textile-like character of the wall.

Stephen Bates, partner, Sergison Bates architects

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