The renovation project for the Belleville apartment block was an opportunity to question urban building formats issued from modern urbanism, and the conditions of their transformation.
Our “palimpsest” entirely refutes an automatic doctrine of demolition/reconstruction. In fact, we believe the city must transform upon itself, and look within to find the conditions of its future rebirth.
Our project destroys nothing, it transforms. It imposes nothing, but activates existing potential.
Like a graft, our project rests upon the buildings that already exist. Making use of the site’s qualities, amount of sunshine and open air, the graft “takes”: the project develops into an ensemble of buildings that taper down from the rooftops and sky to ground level in a cascade of vegetated, sundrenched terraces. By establishing a connection between the neighborhood’s density and the uses developed in its streets, our restructuring project for the Belleville block reinjects existing modern constructions with a diversification of formats, envelopes and materials, thus softening the brutality. Built against two gable ends left like blank pages awaiting punctuation, the vertical village we propose reconciles the historical identity of Haut-Belleville, the reality of its built environment, and its potential for creating a sustainable and inclusive city.