44 housing units
Chemin Docteur Jean-Louis Prévost. Petit Saconnex, Geneva (Switzerland)
The City of Geneva’s Foundation for Social Housing
Architecture: SCAPE (L. Di Falco, F. Marinelli, A. Cambi and P. Mezzalama)
Plant engineering: Weinmann Energies
Gross area: 5.176 sq m
Housing: 4.240 sq m
Common space: 936 sq m
The design is based on a module of 2.75m that gives rhythm to the building as a whole while regulating differences in typology, the internal design of the apartments, load-bearing structures and façade cladding. Rationality and modularity generate a greater flexibility and leave open the possibility for future typologies. The proposal puts forward a system allowing four possibilities for assembly that can be freely adapted on a basis of developmental necessity, with openings that are adaptable to all possible types of composition.
All the apartments, comprising from three to six rooms, have the advantage of facing two or three ways. The bedrooms are on the northern side, while the rooms for day use (living room and kitchen) are made more attractive by a loggia, or covered walkway, that faces south. The bathrooms, utility rooms and common parts are in the centre, meaning that the inhabitants’ entire façade can be reserved for their exclusive use, and thus ensuring good light despite the thickness of the building’s walls.
The image of the façade changes continually according to the use made of the folding panels that constitute part of the cladding and that can be re-positioned to suit climatic conditions or the activities and individual preferences of the inhabitants. These dynamic openings bring a human scale to the building.
The external organisation allows for stone paths that link the various parts of the building with the surrounding area, creating spaces where the inhabitants can meet and socialise.
The paths continue uninterruptedly into the common parts on the ground floor. In turn, the stone base of the large outside space adjoining the building is designed to merge into the surrounding gardens, blending naturally with the trees and shrubs.