This renovation and transformation of a Parisian top-floor apartment is surrounded by the magnificent Bois de Boulogne and the Jardin du Ranelagh, with 360-degree views of the city’s historic monuments, from the Tour Eiffel to La Défense, Les Invalides, and Longchamp. Originally split between two floors and fragmented by countless space, abandoned for over thirty years, is now undergoing a total makeover to become a light-flooded penthouse surrounded by vegetation and reinterpreted as an ‘eye on the city’.
The principal interior public space is designed to evoke a clearing in a forest, the traditional gathering place in nature that offers both light and tranquility. Following this concept, a large landscaped patio open to the sky was designed as part of the dining room, lounge and fireplace. Ringed with glass walls that, once raised up, transform the adjacent spaces into one entire living room area around this central ‘natural element’, the patio redefines the living spaces as an urban forest high above the dense city street-scape.
The roof level, which offers truly magnificent views, is the real crown of the Forêt Urbaine concept. Conceived with a specific landscape design and different areas of interaction, from a dining area to a lounge space, an open air cinema, an enchanted garden and a fire place, the roof level also includes a light structural-glass veranda and an entertainment and gym space, all of which are enhanced by rich vegetation evoking a contemporary ‘hanging gardens’.
Also on the roof level, connected and supported by the sculptural chimneys, is a pergola, which is the topmost roof over the entire project. Its design is a result both of its structural role to specifically lift the patio’s glass walls and of careful sun studies that determined its form and the integration of a deployable brise-soleil within its design. The result is a sophisticated pergola that creates a controlled environment and specific shaded zones.
The landscape design, which is the underlying factor in the project, establishes the dialogue between nature and architecture, interior and exterior. The result is a graceful invasion of the living spaces with colors, scents and visual scenarios, and an enchanted contemplative roof garden that has the potential to become will act as a biodiversity link between the cities’ surrounding parks. The plantings, the pergola, the photovoltaic panels, in-floor heating and cooling and the use of natural ventilation make the renovation a very sustainable and low-carbon footprint project.
The overall balance of geometry and proportion and the use of unfinished yet refined materials create a delicate contrast between rough and polished. From concrete finishes to wood inlays, from stone to vegetation, the new penthouse not only establishes a unique dialogue between light and shadow, grace and solidity but also transforms a once awkward apartment into an open, elegant, and serene living space. Source by Matteo Cainer Architects.
- Location: Paris, France
- Architect: Matteo Cainer Architects
- Program and Size: Penthouse – 1433 m2
- Status: Under construction- expected completion 2018
- Images: Courtesy of Matteo Cainer Architects
Article by Marco Rinaldi