projects for Paris and France
La Citadelle (1/4)

Paris 1981 - 84
Avenue d'Italie - Rue du Tage
Low Income Housing Complex
Régie Immobiliére de la Ville de Paris

Index of LUTETIA projects

Portfolio Divisare

Entire Complex

In an area of Paris which suffered the worst excesses of high rise construction in the 1960’s, the R.I.V.P. commissioned Mazzucconi to design an isolated project, hoping to recover a more human urban scale. The site was, however, conditioned by a pre-existing high rise building in the same area. The project area is delineated by low buildings along la Rue du Tage and la Rue Sorbier, and by higher buildings along l’Avenue d’Italie, which partially reabsorb the visual impact of the existing high rise. The large, mirrored windows in the upper portion of one of the new façades seek to diminish, through the sky’s reflection, the mass of the high rise. One of the project’s contributions to the area is the creation of a corner square (refer to the analogous solution proposed by Mazzucconi for the J.C.Decaux building in Neuilly) which serves as an entrance to the complex. A strong presence of stone walls, in harmony with the pignons of the old houses along the avenue - the only pre-existing architectural feature worth recalling - in contrast to metallic features, windows and other elements, creates a complex language in which references to tradition and modernity co-exist. In this study, roofs are critical: a typical form in Paris, the Mansarde roof, is elaborated in order to achieve pure and geometric construction using tubular structures. Other characteristics of the project are: the presence of an imaginary history, especially in the façade on Rue du Tage, and a defensive position, almost a citadel, which can be interpreted as a psychological impulse to defend the complex against the visually agressive architecture of the district, and, in a complementary sense, the softness of an "internal architecture" in an isolated area. Sloping roofs seek to minimize the height of the façades and bay windows give the pleasing impression of a country house, rather than a block of low-income housing in an urban area.

Small Square
Rue de Tage