A new angle on eco-design

15 Mar 2012

Hinged wooden pallets animate student housing scheme in bland Parisian lane

For Stephane Malka Architecture, real ecological combat is within the reappropriation of materials and experimentations with ready-made objects, far from the so-called benevolence of subsidised agencies. The studio’s student housing scheme on rue Amelot in Paris is a project that inserts itself into an urban interstice: the thickness of a blind wall.

It’s within the thickness of these walls that this thin building is constructed. The urban form is a strict extension of the blind walls, which houses using the existing. No building is destroyed, and no pollution generated. The skin consists of an existing module: the wooden pallet. Held using horizontal hinges, the pallets contract towards the top, allowing privacy or large openings. The modularity of the various palettes creates varied geometries, which are based on use and constantly regenerated.

The re-appropriation of materials recycles the existing without additional processing which would cost energy in terms of production and create by-product pollution. The real environmental approach consists not in destruction but in superimposing interventions upon our built heritage. It consists of a new land strategy, unreferenced on a parcel, constructed in a de facto ‘ecology’ of means.

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