Day-Care and Young Workers Hostel

Day-Care and Young Workers Hostel
By Chartier Dalix Architects & Avenir Cornejo Architects. [PAR] France
metalocus, INÉS LALUETA
Exterior view. Day-Care and Young Workers Hostel, by Chartier Dalix and Avenier Cornejo. Photography © David Foessel

This building, in its architects words, is a "little machine for living". This statement, added to the public space in the third floor, where the building hosts several public facilities as a kindergarden, a gym or a library, remind us the UUnité d'Habitation of Le Corbusier. Its recovering vision bring us back a residential building which, housing those facilities, works as a social condenser.

Project description by architects

This very compact project hosts several programs transforming the building into a real little machine for living. This density assumed by extremely rational plans (development and distribution studios) has two breaths, acting as the urban level as a point of view of applications. The first is horizontal, formed by an open 3rd floor, it gathers all common facilities (library, gym, communal kitchen …) arranged freely on the tray lookout over the city. The second breath is a vertical fault that brings natural light in all circulations horizontal (and vertical). In this regard, we encourage the use of public spaces (including stairs) which are viewed as places for sharing nice and bright. On the urban point of view, this work is how to synchronize the building with a topographic changing context: the device, its coverage, the steepness of the area, the terrace of the art cinema and testing …. All these levels present in the Porte des Lilas are many references with which the new project dialog through its own system of “urban balconies” is playing new strata of the city.

Text.- Chartier Dalix Architectes.

Exterior view. Day-Care and Young Workers Hostel, by Chartier Dalix and Avenier Cornejo. Photography © David Foessel.

The new RIVP (Paris public housing agency) building houses three services: a hostel for immigrants, a hostel for young workers, a 66 place day-care on the ground floor, as well as communal facilities. Located in Paris’ 20th arrondissement, just beyond the beltway, it is both Parisian and Lilasian. The building’s almost unique location in Paris makes it a concrete symbol of the reconnection between the two areas.
The building is part of an area undergoing immense change: the beltway, which is partially covered and lies just to the west, the site's sloping topography, the art-house cinema and experimental platform. The building plays with all of these elements, using them as new reference points.

The structure’s homogeneity is a reply to the building’s symbolic nature; it is visible from the area’s new public spaces. The high density of the services offered translates into very carefully planned housing, and is offset by two breaks, which divide the building both horizontally and vertically, and increase the value of the compact spaces:
•    The third floor is open, and has a view of Paris. This is a common space for residents, where they can access all the community services provided.
•    A vertical rift, which is a source of light for the circulations and faces the street, offering a visual link between hostel life and the area around it

The hostel’s common amenities (media centre, sport hall, group kitchen, etc.) are all located on one level (third floor). This area offers the two hostels’ residents the possibility to “live together.” It allows them to get to know each other as they participate in different activities. The goal of mixing diverse groups together has real meaning here. It brings the client’s main ambition of bringing different hostels together under one roof to life.

Complementing the horizontal break, the vertical rift hollows out the building (on Rue du Docteur Gley), channelling natural light into the circulations and the urban space, creating areas for people to come together and relax on each floor. It also creates a break in the rhythm of the 30 flat per floor distribution.

Located entirely on the ground floor, it faces south. The rooms enjoy generous light and extend to the outside play areas. An aerial canopy made from a light metallic mesh covers the play areas, giving a sense of protection without blocking any light. A combination of delicate and rustic plants borders the playground.

Within the hostel, the flat “type” is designed to make maximum use of the space available, and to provide a flexible living area. The architect designed furniture has been custom made. Shutters mean the kitchenette can be closed off, and the table contains built in drawers. There are two sleeping options, either a pull-out bed or a trundle bed. A bench and wardrobe are also designed to maximise space and comfort, while the bathrooms are naturally lit using a light well.

The entire building is covered with a homogeneous skin. Referencing the buildings around the outskirts of Paris (low cost housing), the choice of authentic materials makes a link with a characteristic era of RIVP construction. The building is faced in brick, which is long lasting and easy to maintain. The bricks have been placed using a square edged joint cut, and are handmade. This semi-industrial manufacturing method gives the brick infinite shades in its anthracite tones. In order to bring out the sensual pleasure of this material, the two caesuras are dressed in copper. The luminosity and reflective quality of this material contrast with the velvety texture of the dark brick. The building’s rounded edges are dressed in brick, and the successive setting back of floors 7, 8, and 9 from the building’s base frees the up space for some small terraces in varnished aluminium. The building’s compactness has allowed for mostly 2x2 m windows for each studio, which are on average 18m²

Two wind turbines are installed on the roof. They supply the day-care during the day and the hostel at night. This choice of energy supply, still in its infancy in an urban setting, is particularly justified here. The building is located in an elevated position and is in a wind corridor. Solar panels located on the roof meet 30% of the building’s energy needs.



Architects.- Chartier Dalix Architects & Avenir Cornejo Architects.
Associated Architects.- Chartier Dalix & Avenir Cornejo.
Project Manager.- Miguel Cornejo, Christelle Avenier, Alexis Martin, Ignacio Echeverria Pascale Dalix, Frèdèric Chartier, Mathieu Terme.
Project Team.- F. Bougon [cost estimating], CFERM [mechanical engineer], E.V.P. [structural engineer], F. Bouttè [high environmental quality - HQE].
Consultant.- Les produits de l'èpicerie [graphic designer], Acoustibel [acoustics].
Client.- RIVP Régie Immobilière de la Ville de Paris, Project Manager Gaulle Jacquet.
Site surface.- 1 750 m²
Built surface.- 9 300 m²
Budget.- 19 600 000 euros.
Satus.- Completed in October 2013.

HEQ.- Performance.
Programme.- 240 studios for young workers and migrants, kindergarten and shared facilities.
Location.- Paris [20°].
Photography.- Luc Boegly & Samuel Lehuede.
Constructor.- GTM Bâtiment.
Location.-  Angle rue du Docteur Gley / rue Paul Meurice. Paris 75020, France.
Date.- November 2009 (competition), February 2010 (request), October 2013 (finish).


Avenier & Cornejo. After graduating from the architecture school of Paris-Malaquais, Christelle Avenier and Chilean-born Miguel Cornejo were short-listed for the Robert Auzelle prize "LumiËres de la Ville" and won funding from Electra (ElectricitÈ De France), with a more


Chartier Dalix Architects. Since its creation in 2006 by Frèdèric Chartier and Pascale Dalix, Chartier Dalix architects office directs its research towards a balance between location and projection, between what is given and what can go further. The constraints are thus considered as more