International Architecture Competition

Paris Affordable
Housing
Challenge

Results

Foreword

As the average price for housing within central Paris crosses the threshold of €10,000/m², long-time residents and newcomers alike find themselves wondering how anyone can afford to own or rent within the City of Lights.

Paris is no stranger to housing shortages. The 20 arrondissements defined by the vehicular Périphérique ring road has protected itself with building codes that limit construction heights and density - a great success for maintaining urban and architectural identity, but also a constraint on the population's long-term housing demands. To counter this, large residential developments have been constructed in the surrounding banlieues. Many new projects are currently under construction, and several others are planned in the future to meet growing demand and in preparation for, among other things, the 2024 Paris Olympics. Paris also can lay claim to benefitting from a strong network of local and regional train systems that provide easy access to the city from towns located along its RER and TER lines. But the skyrocketing square meter prices for housing within Paris' large urban center are evidence enough that more must be done to maintain a balanced population of residents from all income levels.

This competition has been run in partnership with ARCHHIVE BOOKS as part of Bee Breeders' Global Housing Availability Challenge series. The series seeks unique ideas for cities around the world facing housing shortages, and the corresponding exacerbation of social and economic imbalances. The Paris Affordable Housing Challenge is tasking participants with designing a sustainable solution to Paris’ affordable housing problem. It was a conceptual call for ideas. Implementable, novel, and thought-provoking solutions were sought. No specific location was defined, as the competition sought ideas versatile enough to be adapted to multiple locations in or around Paris. Participants were asked to consider designs flexible enough to accommodate families, couples, single professionals, and mixed residence types.

Designs that responded to Paris uniquely were judged positively, in particular those that showed an advanced level of urban, social, or political analysis. What aspects of Paris' urban composition might be utilized to accommodate additional housing? The response was varied, with proposals tackling ideas for new housing types, others re-thinking the utilization of the existing housing stock, and many focused on identifying underutilized spaces within Paris for new construction.

1ST PRIZE WINNER+
BB STUDENT AWARD

Project Name

Monumental Housing United States

University

Southern california institute of architecture

Project authors

Neno Videnovic

jury commentary

'Monumental Housing' focuses on the fundamental structure of Hausmann-designed Paris: landmark 'places' meant to serve as the key organizational elements of the city. Here, 12 housing blocks are designed to be dispersed throughout the city as a new form of cultural monument. Each block is to house a collection of new apartments. These are clad in a perforated metal panel that replaces the human scale of the apartment with a unitless pattern that tends toward the sculptural. The blocks are limited in their connections to the ground, to allow space for open public parks below. The project is reminiscent of Bernard Tschumi's famed competition-winning entry for Paris' Park de La Villette in the mid 1980's, in its application of a standardized sculptural element across the space of the city - a means for visual orientation and placemaking. The proposal is quirky without being gimmicky, and the judges applaud its boldness.

ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS

NEWSLETTER

2ND PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

Urban Infill - 1037 New Housing Sites in Paris Portugal

University

Southern california institute of architecture

Project authors

Lourenço Vaz Pinto

jury commentary

According to the submission, titled "Urban Infill", it "mines the thousands of open spaces located throughout Paris in the shape of its urban courtyards to use as added affordable housing sites." The project identifies 1037 inter-block sites for the construction of nearly 2 million m² for residences. This corresponds to 81500 new micro-units that could house up to 135000 people in Paris. The massing of each site claims to respond to specific building distance, sunlight, and cross ventilation requirements. Both the urban analysis and the resulting building forms are enticing, and the back-yard lot construction is certainly aimed to be provocative. Whether the seductive crystalline forms represented in the drawings could be constructed affordably and profitably is another matter, likely requiring a further level of research. The project represents a well-thought response to the form and density of the typical Parisian block.

3RD PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

9.000 new social houses for Paris Italy

University

Politecnico di torino

Project authors

Chiara Quintanal Rivacoba
Bianca Ludovica Palmieri

jury commentary

This project proposes a modified system of development for 9000 logement sociaux, or social housing sites. According to this system, property rights are to be partially transferred by a property owner to a 'social owner', or property management entity. As a method of oversight, the process requires city hall to meet with both the legal owner and the social owner prior to the architect's submission of design documents to the council for approval. Projects are to contain socially-oriented community spaces as well as a for-profit commercial space, as a means to long-term profits that would incentivize social management or investment. The jury was supportive of this project, which analyzes and re-thinks city-specific economic and political drivers of projects. The entry intelligently adapts the popular graphic style of Paris city maps. The result is playful, positive, and convincing.

BB GREEN AWARD

Project Name

La Ceinture Vivante - The Living Belt New Zealand

Project authors

Matt Sterne
Oscar Clarke
Ingrid Schwalm McEwan
Kate Schoonees

Honorable mentions

Project Name

Full steam ahead Canada

Project authors

Sebastien Labbe
Nicolas Delucinge

Project Name

GREEN HOUSE France

Company

Squad

Project authors

Yoan La Selva
Adrien La Selva
Damien Fraulob
Sisley Carnus

Project Name

Roofers United States

Project authors

Jaewon Lee
Suk Lee
Woowon Chung

Project Name

Paving the Palimpsest United States

Project authors

Mujung Ryan Chiu

Project Name

Parisian Landcapes Canada

Project authors

Noam Hazan

Project Name

THE VILLAGE France

Project authors

Aubéry De Bretteville
Sophie Ponthieu
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