In the heart of Paris ArcelorMittal steel contributes to innovative aesthetics and thermal efficiency of a residential building

Due to its famous metallic spangle and high light reflectance, metallic coated steel was used for the cladding and perforated blinds of this residential building in Paris.

Detailed information

Nine homes and a retail space in the heart of Paris

The location, Rue Marcadet, where the building is situated is a relatively long street in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, which combines architecture of very different eras and styles.

The choice of location for the plot was guided by the desire to retain the urban layout, i.e. the discontinuity of alignment of the two buildings on either side of the plot.

On one side is the building known as the “Mathagon” mansion-house dating from the late eighteenth century, which underwent a complete rehabilitation concurrent with the construction work undertaken for “Résidence Marcadet”.

On the other side is a 10-storey residential building dating from the 1970s and built standing well back from the street alignment, creating a recessed space.

Cantin Planchez architectural practice sought to extend this sawtooth concept with the offsetting of the built volumes, furnishing recessed spaces and gardens visible from the street.

To this end, the architects extended the volume to the far end of the site to minimise its impact on Rue Marcadet, the facade becoming a gable to echo the offset alignment of the neighbouring mansion-house.  The main facade was thus oriented to the east and opens onto the garden and the full-length balconies.  The view, tranquillity, and exposure to the sun are markedly enhanced and almost all of the homes enjoy a dual view and triple orientation.

A long struggle…

This project was drawn out over time (2006-2011) as prior to the submission of the final version of the building permit application many months of meetings with all of the stakeholders in the project (urban planning department, Bâtiments de France architects) were required. In addition, the residents were concerned to see a new residential building coming to this already very densely built-up area of Paris.  The project was modified in order to minimise its impact on the neighbouring buildings.

In short, a great deal of time, energy, and diagloue went into this small project. The result was an interesting process that speaks to the often contradictory viewpoints of the stakeholders of which architects must deal with in order to bring a project to a successful conclusion.

A high thermal performance facade with ArcelorMittal steel

Overlooking the garden, the east and north facades are extensively glazed to take advantage of the light and the view.  Between the windows, the building is coated with smooth white render applied to the exterior insulation.

Overlooking the street, the north and west facades are more closed. They were produced with metallic coated steel, which makes it possible to play with the light and the reflections from the surrounding buildings. The facades feature shutters perforated to copy the principles of contemporary blinds, which perfectly regulate the supply of light and view to the bedrooms.

The thermal survey was entrusted to the heating engineer André Pouget.  It enabled the proposal of double rather than triple glazing and single-flow rather than dual-flow ventilation.  These were simple solutions for a building aiming for the THPE (Very High Energy Efficiency) designation and consumption of approximately 65 kWh/m²/year.

On the ground floor, the path to the building’s lobby is of brushed concrete.  The garden, reminiscent of a canyon, is dressed with white marble chips to enhance the light in this relatively narrow and deep space.

The retail volume is extensively glazed (switching from clear glass on the street to dark green glass on the garden facade) to preserve the distinction between retail and housing.

Why metallic coated steel? The architects explain their choice:

“For our project, we were looking for a material compatible with insulation from the outside, a texture both clear and shimmering, not completely smooth, and that allows for playing with the light, even if indirectly. We then turned to metallic coated steel, which seemed to meet these criteria since it offers both clarity and shine, and in turn a powdery or crystalline effect. The folding shutters are also made of steel with metallic coating and have been perforated to take on the appearance of contemporary shutters and to accurately regulate the contribution of light into the rooms.”

Project information

  • Paris
  • France
  • Architects :
    Cantin Planchez Architectures
  • June 2011 (Label THPE -CEP 65 kwh/m2)
    Competition result: 2006
    Planning & execution: 2006 - 2011
  • Project manager:
    Thibault Marca, Architecte
  • Engineering Office:
    CETBA Ingénierie
    André Pouget (Thermal Specialist)
  • Client:
  • General contractor:
  • Facade:
  • Technical inspection agency:
  • Photographer:
    ©Luc BOEGLY ©ArcelorMittal FCE