Boileau Apartments, Transformation of an Office Block into Housing
Transformation of an Office Block into Housing.
In Paris today, approximately two millions square metres of office space lie empty. This situation is seen by some as an opportunity in a city whose population has been on the decline in recent years. Within this context, the Boileau project is in some respects a pilot project where the issue was how to transform an office building into quality housing. The operation, located in a bourgeois Parisian neighbourhood (the 16th arrondissement), is now seen as an exemplary : on time and on budget, almost all the apartments found buyers event before completion (Yves Lion, 1996)
The building in question is one of a group of three, eighty-storey office buildings constructed in 1958 by the architect Urbain Cassan. One of the building is still occupied by the National Center of Scientific Research, while another has been transformed into the headquarters of a popular radio station. The building to be convertes was formerly used as offices, but had been vacant for several years. Despite this change in function, the architect wanted to preserve the spirit of the building, just adding a domestic dimension to it. Rather than undertaking a radical transformation, it was decides to take advantage of what was there, altering as little as possible the existing structure.
For this reason, the general volume of the building as well as the façade organization was maintened. The main change consisted in adding balconies to the eastern and western facades and inserting timber windows fitted with wooden shutters into the existing grid. The new windows give the building a more livable aspect and the balconies give each apartment a private outdoor space, taking advantage of the calm nature of the site.
Transformation process of an Office Block into Housing intended for the sale, with cellars and parking lots. This building was built in 1958 by Urbain Cassan, architect.
facade : white stone from Bourgogne, Serpentine stone
carpentry (outside) : wood
shutters : wood
floor : ash tree parquet, Vogue enamelled tile, Comblanchien stone
Take advantage of what was there, altering as little as possible the existing structure (beams and concrete)
Add balconies to the eastern and western facades and inserting timber windows fitted with wooden shutters into the existing grid