FLOATING SAILS ON THE PARIS’S ROOFS PLOTS

THE ARCHITECTURE ESSAY COMPETITION _ WHAT IS SMALL-SCALE ARCHITECTURE?

Bee Breeders, in partnership with ARCHHIVE BOOKS, is calling for essay submissions for their second print publication “What is Small-Scale Architecture?” which is planned for release in Spring 2020.

Submissions can be historical, present, or prospective. They can be data-centric, analytical, fictional, critical, or conceptual.

HONORABLE MENTION

FLOATING SAILS ON THE PARIS’S ROOFS PLOTS

How can we live in tomorrow’s big cities given the increase in housing prices and the lack of free space to build upon?

The city of Paris now has 2.1 million people in an area of 10,540 ha. Demand for housing keeps on rising every year, whilst the supply of properties available both for rent and for sale dries up and prices keep on surging.

As buildings age, investments are needed to keep properties in good condition and co-owners must plan significant expenses for maintenance purposes. Selling the currently unexploited free space on the rooftops of those buildings would allow them to generate revenue and might possibly make affordable housing a reality for tight budgets.

In 1953, Yona Friedman, a French-Hungarian architect, contemplated the construction of mobile aerial structures to respond to the tricky issue of post-war reconstruction and then to the problem of galloping demographics. He imagined “space cities” hung on the city’s existing infrastructures which would provide the fluids and mechanisms necessary for access and circulation.

In the manner of Yona Friedman, we imagine that small-scale architecture is a solution to bolster and expand the supply of space in large cities, mainly for first-time buyers. Following his photo-sketching method, we drew living spaces as sails floating on the rooftops of Paris. These sails can house small dwellings or kiosks (basic necessities store, grocery store, etc…) on roof plots.

In addition, in a city as large as Paris, urban extension within the city walls is hindered by the over-congestion of ground traffic. The installation of small-scale architectural modules on rooftops would make it possible to fill a vacuum and a void that are not currently being exploited.

We therefore imagine this housing model as a tool that addresses, on a small scale, the social and spatial challenges faced by large cities.

Finally, the deployment of these small structures would encourage the maintenance and consolidation of existing buildings rather than the creation of new rental monopolies. To us, small-scale architecture is a viable solution to the housing problem in large cities.

We sent our model to Yona Friedman who replied: « Thank you for your images, it’s really in the spirit of mobile architecture, I am delighted to know that the younger generations are inspired by my ideas. Keep going ! Yona ».