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Student housing of 115 units in Paris - h2o architectes

Student housing of 115 units in Paris - France

h2o architectes


france   40under40


h2o architectes is an office of creative architectural design based in Paris and lead by Charlotte Hubert, Jean-Jacques Hubert and Antoine Santiard. 
h2o works on a wide scope of projects and scales including historical monuments and sites, public spaces, architecture and design.
In every projects and at different scales the office intends to combine a controled duality between a determinated possibility of uses and some situations offering possibilities for appropriation. These somewhat uncharted spaces allow for the invention of any kind of practices and customs, and therefore, for the modification of the individual’s place in a more and more controlled social space. 
The office gained an international reputation through a series of cutting edge contextual innovative projects of different scales. Widely published they reveal a great formal sensitivity directly linked to usage, material, durability and habitable space.   
h2o architectes is today one of the leading practices of the new generation of architects. It has been awarded the Najap Prize 2008 (a recognition of a selection of young European architects organised by French Ministry of Culture). The office has also been selected by the international magazine Wallpaper* for their world architects directory 2009, a selection of the best 30 emerging practices. The office won the international award Total Housing in 2010 with Chatou and Front and Back projects exhibited in Storefront for Art & Architecture NYC.
Recently the office has been shortlisted for the First Building Award 2012 with a 20 flats building in Paris and won the National Award of Wood Construction - Interior 2014 with project The Cabin.

Charlotte Hubert 
Architect specialized in heritage monuments, she graduated in 2003 from the Ecole de Chaillot. She had previously gradued in 1999 from the Ecole d’architecture of Paris -Belleville. 
She founded h2o architectes with Jean-Jacques Hubert in 2005.
Prior to joining the studio, Charlotte Hubert was working at Bruno Decaris Architectes. She was in charge of listed project restauration in Haute-Normandie and Burgundy region. 
She is today teaching at the Ecole d’architecture of Nancy and is a member of the French National Commission for Historic Monuments in the contemporary intervention section.

Jean-Jacques Hubert
Jean-Jacques Hubert graduated as an architect from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’architecture of Nantes in 1999. He founded h2o architectes with Charlotte Hubert in 2005. 
Prior to joining the studio, Jean-Jacques Hubert was working at Bernard Tschumi Architectes. He was in charge of the Limoges Concert Hall and several international competitions. 
He has been teaching since 2006 at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts et des Techniques in Paris.  

Antoine Santiard
Antoine Santiard graduated as an architect from the EPF. Lausanne in 2001. He became a partner of h2o architectes in 2008. Prior to joining the studio, he was working at Bernard Tschumi Architectes. He was in charge of the Limoges Concert Hall and the Alésia Museum. 

He has been teaching from 2007 to 2010 at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture of Paris Malaquais and from 2010 to 2012 at Paris Val de Seine. He is currently teaching since 2012 at the GSAPP / Columbia University (NY/Paris Programm).

Student housing of 115 units in Paris

LocationUrban site development Paul Meurice, Paris, France
Teamh2o architectes (lead architect) with ID+ ingénierie (engineer)

The student residence forms the D3 block of the Paul Meurice urban plan. It is inserted at the angle and between two streets on the outskirts of the 20th arrondissement of Paris.

From the street, a pedestrian entrance is marked by a covered passageway offering an inviting view and access into the heart of the block. Entry into the building is therefore made from the communal garden, a privileged green space protected from the noise of the street. The project is based on a symbolic housing unit: the gabled house, which recalls the characteristic image of domestic housing, something that each student should be able to identify with. This iconic and yet original geometry presents the advantage of a privileged interior space.
The volumes are simple; there is no artifice in this student housing. The work on proportions and the urban progression by landings is what characterizes the building, architecturally. A principle of accumulation gives strength to the project and contributes to the readability of the building. The empty spaces between the houses become common ground, places for shared, community life with terraces, lateral views or even privileged exterior spaces.

These “voids” are written into the façade design; they are like breathing spaces which cross the building from one end to the other.  Their distribution and their waterfall-effect progression reach a climax at the junction between the two streets.  They contribute to the overall feeling of a hinge-like building and help dealing with the angle treatment of the façades.

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