The Saint-Germain block and its 254 social housing units, built by the François Brugel Architectes Associés and h2o agencies on behalf of the Real Estate Agency of the City of Paris (RIVP), in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. JARED CHULSKI
The 2023 Silver Square went on Monday, November 20, to the Saint-Germain block, a project of 254 social housing units carried out by the François Brugel Architectes Associés and h2o agencies on behalf of the Real Estate Agency of the City of Paris (RIVP). This prize rewards the best work produced in the past year on French territory among those whose project managers have paid the requested entry fee to the professional press group Le Moniteur, organizer of the event.
The last time this distinction went to housing was in 2011, for the rehabilitation of the Bois-le-Prêtre tower, in Paris, by the Lacaton and Vassal et Duot agencies. The Saint-Germain block is also a rehabilitation: the transformation of a former Ministry of Defense office building, in the 7th arrondissement.
“Extreme attention to every detail”
The jury was jointly chaired by the architect couple Emmanuelle and Laurent Beaudoin, the winners (with Ivry Serres, who was also a member of the jury) of the Equerre d’argent 2022 for the Charles Nègre Media Library in Grasse (Alpes-Maritimes ).
By rewarding this delicate operation, he wanted to distinguish “an exemplary way of doing things, which tells the story of the transformation of the city on itself and the way in which architecture can respond to it”, “an inspired way of weaving the scale of housing with that of the entire operation”as well as’“extreme attention to every detail”all while dealing with an extremely complex set of constraints.
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The building, which integrates no less than 88 different types of housing, also highlights the potential offered by the existing heritage to free itself from the rigid, terribly distressing standards that govern the housing sector today.
Public school in La Selle-Craonnaise (Mayenne) by the architects Huitorel & Morais. SIMON GUESDON
The jury was also enthusiastic about the public school built by the Huitorel & Morais agency in La Selle-Craonnaise, in the Mayenne countryside, winning the prize for the first work. This straw building with a wooden frame is aimed as much at the large landscape as at the school children and also bears the mark of the determination of these young architects; they not only exceeded the order, but moved it by convincing the city to build on a former parking lot rather than in a residential area, on a plot that was already artificialized, in other words, rather than on land that was not. .
Celebrating the expression of architecture where you least expect it
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