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JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MASSON

HOUSING PROJECTS

Jean-Christophe Masson was born in Marseille and later went on to graduate from France's École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville. He founded the architecture practice Hamonic+Masson with Gaëlle Hamonic in 1997, and since 2006 has taught in some of France's most prestigious architecture schools. He is also a founding member of the French Touch collective, which promoted and showcased inventive French architecture through the publication of numerous annuals and reviews. Jean-Christophe is a frequent guest speaker at international conferences and lectures, and writes regularly in the architectural press. 

Hamonic + Masson & Associés
Guest lecturers
Housing projects

Jean-Christophe Masson - Projects

Urban Dock

Architects: Hamonic + Masson & Associés

Location: Bordeaux, France

Year: 2015

Images/text from: https://www.hamonic-masson.com

 

By the Architects:

The Bassins à Flots are a 162 ha niche site, a high-quality port and manufacturing district for which Bordeaux City Council has development plans. Nicolas Michelin’s instructions are to create a link between the site and the horizon and to build on the metaphor of the factory, warehouses and the navy.

Our project is very “industrial” in that it is solid, compact and metal-clad. There is the occasional raised element, one 9-storey building jutting up like a periscope. That is what the project is all about: putting together a serene skyline and creating an urban form similar to a village at ground level, with footpaths to maintain a feeling of wilderness.

Green space is at the core of the project. The ground, the length of the façades and the rooftops all incorporate vegetation, with the objective being to create an intimate link with the pedestrianised pathway, which is completely covered in plants and vegetation. The architectural and green structures interact with one another

Bâtiment Home

Architects: Hamonic + Masson & Associés

Location: Paris, France

Year: 2015

Images/text from: https://www.hamonic-masson.com

 

By the Architects:

"Home" is the first residential high rise building constructed in Paris since the 1970s.

There is therefore a huge responsibility to be the spearhead of the new approach to vertical housing in the urban environment. The debate surrounding height in Paris is stuck between a vision of the past, and the desire to advance, to start something new, to reconsider the city as an opportunity for new horizons.

It is therefore not a question of ignoring the past, or looking to errors previously committed, but to reconsider the original heritage in order to question today’s image, and to carry the values of optimism and sharing. We must look to the past in order to move forward today and to seize the future with ambition. Paris remains a place of invention and carries values of modernity.

Housing constitutes 80% of the city. It’s a bit like water for the human body. We must therefore make this 80% exceptional. The life and richness of a city are its inhabitants. Many people aspire to live in suburban style, individual housing. There are many reasons for this, but in particular being able to create a true identity for one’s own home. Secondly there’s appeal of eating outside, having direct contact with the outdoors from the comfort of your own house, all whilst owning ones own land. These desires must be integrated in to the scale of the apartments in a collective building. We have responded to this search for individual identity, ownership and differentiation by creating apartments with various, differing typologies within the collective, alongside multiple exterior spaces.

This building reveals an adventure, the unexpected, and combines surprise with emotions in a willingness to reveal the potential of an exceptional site. By taking into account the specifics of this context, the project attempts to link two territories: the centre of Paris and ‘Grand Paris.’ It’s also a building that transforms, and speaks of the transition from a horizontal city with imposed height restrictions, to a vertical one with a dynamic and rich skyline. Its unique urban form and architectural style are emblematic of this change.

 

Construction of 330 Housing Units

Architects: Hamonic + Masson & Associés

Location: Paris, France

Year: 2017

Images/text from: https://www.hamonic-masson.com

 

By the Architects:

The project is organised around seven buildings on two separate plots linked by a public road. The site has its constraints, including the local flood prevention plan, building area restrictions, required transparencies and the local urban plan. However it also has its advantages such as unobstructed views of the Seine, the nearby park, the surrounding new and developing neighbourhood and the site’s proximity to the riverbank. Each building has its own character but remains linked to its neighbouring structures. The morphology of the buildings develops in a way that provides each apartment with multiple views of the Seine and maximum sunlight exposure. The buildings interact with one another in a way that creates collective spaces overlooking the new road.

The buildings are raised off the ground in order to allow the eye to wander between the structures and let the natural light penetrate the site. These open ground floors are connected to each other via the road. The physical and visual network of entrances becomes a unifying social link. The sequences of housing entrance points are designed as interior prolongations of the road’s exterior space. The hallways become transparent spaces with dual aspect views. The voids between buildings and the road are landscaped in order to create a large, planted, communal garden. Plants are chosen depending on location and exposure. The extension of public space is at the heart of the system, and is a concept that will create a strong link between shared spaces, the road and the project.

One of the big questions in collective housing is that of repetition. How can we avoid this feeling in a programme of 330 apartments? (60% privately owned, and 40% social.) The apartments are stratified but must offer quality and uniqueness. We have responded to the search for identity within the collective and provided differentiation by proposing multiple, varied exterior spaces.

Furthermore, we have designed numerous typologies with the majority of apartments benefiting from a southwesterly orientation and views of the Seine. The buildings directly facing the river have been designed to give a strong signal of Metropolitan scale.

Each building develops a linear balcony running along the length of the apartment providing each home with a vast exterior space. These spaces are finished differently depending on their location:Conservatories facing the Seine, providing a view but protection from the noise of the busy road.Full-height metal work preventing overlooking from the road or public spacesBalustrade railings

The buildings are sculpted in a way that favours maximum sunlight exposure and provides views overlooking this incredible site. They are clad in metallic lace with varied motifs, which give an identity to this new neighbourhood.

 

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