Ilôt Henri Barbusse

« from historical urban development emerge a new living landscape »

Argenteuil, France
19 500 m2
Benoist Desfonds, Henrique Barbosa
Mateo Arquitectura (mandataire)
Collective housings - free, accession, social, co living - landscape, parking

Commissioned by Linkcity and in relation with Argenteuil city, we had to imagine a new complex of different housings, services, parking and landscape at “Porte Saint Germain – Berges de Seine” district. Mateo Arquitectura invited us to collaborate.

The former horticultural land were following the gravitational path of water, from the hills to the Seine river. It creates a unique primary urban condition form all along the district until nowadays. During 19’ century, manufacture and industry replace slowly agricultural lands. Farms became individual housings with gardens, renamed later as Cité Jardin. Captured by Impressionism artist, our project get inspired by the origins and different urban evolution of the “ Henri Barbusse ”plot.

Our proposal had to articulate the scale of suburban housing to the future high-rise operations. We developed an architectural topography with a rhythmic and lively volumetry. A diversity of architectural strategy helped us to define a lively place for habitants, with an open flowery landscape at ground floor, balconies and deep loggias for apartments, and large planted terraces as well activities at different levels. It organize a community feeling between semi-public and private, between services and housings.

By keeping a maximum of existing earth, and some magnificent trees, this project participate to reduce impermeabilization soils and fight against urban heat effect. This project push toward a better sustainable construction by using wood for the housing part until the maximum height authorized by French regulation. Developed during the COVID period, we had to imagine multiple scenarios for adaptive dwellings, and the wood construction allows this flexibility of organization. Also, we kept and adapt the existing brick façade facing the main street, as a homage to the previous builders.