Jean-François Schmit Architectes

Jean-François Schmit Architectes

Paris, FR



This secluded little workshop-lined path long remained a wasteland inhabited by cats and a profusion of vegetation: a "Sleeping Beauty" with an inconspicuous entrance in a 13th arrondissement of Paris courtyard. The plot, enclosed within an island site, seemed to have exhausted its building rights, until a closer examination of the land use plan revealed an unexpected land bank.

The city council proposed to establish five artists’ workshops on this undeveloped site. The allotted budget was very small: a quarter of it was absorbed by the consolidation of old underground quarries which, as can be imagined, in no way helped the overall finances of an already strained project budget.
The building of the workshops and accommodation was possible only by optimizing the construction costs by means of various stratagems. The glass walls of the workshops were built using large, fixed aluminium window-frames: the only ventilation aperture in the main facade was placed above the entrance door. Preference was given to basic or standardized materials – breeze-blocks, galvanized steel structure. Wood-resin panel down-pipe boxing signposts the boundaries between apartments.
The landscaping of the outdoor spaces was executed simply and comprises a gravelled path bordered by a strip of land that retains some of the plot’s original vegetation: a reminder of the luxuriant "jungle" that previously occupied the site, a transposition of the Californian Sleeping Beauty of Charles Eames’ studio, another simple, lightweight structure set in nature.

Date:      2002
Client:    RIVP

Project manager: Jean-Luc Dupanloup

Surface:    500 m2

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Status: Built
Location: avenue de Choisy à Paris 13e, France