Communal spaces provide a buffer between intimate hideaways at new student residence
Designed by LAN Architecture, this modest 143-room residential block in a buzzing part of Paris is a medley of concealed private corners and airy social spaces. To create a duality between the streetscape and the property’s courtyard, LAN deliberately selected construction materials to evoke opposing sentiments to both users and members of the public. The external facades facing the busy street are clad in dark, slate-coloured brickwork, whilst the plaza area is clad in lark planning with folding louvred shutters. All surfaces in the courtyard are encased in this flexible material.
A vital element of this build was to create rooms for the students that they could make their own, with natural daylighting and social living spaces. As such, all desks are angled to receive sunlight for active working, large windows face onto the communal courtyard, and common spaces such as corridors are transformed into ‘collective spaces where social gatherings could occur’. Each room provides 18 sq m of space on average, with kitchen facilities and a bathroom.
Wayfinding within the building volume has been simplified by using four vertical circulations at the site’s four corners, and all circulation channels lit naturally for relaxed social conditions. In order to reduce the amount of heat loss suffered by the building, the concrete structure is insulated on the outside with 12cm of mineral wool, brick or wood cladding and high-performance double-glazed fittings to provide efficient thermal insulation.