Slab, corridorSlab, gallery-access
Boulevard Victor Apartments
Patout, Pierre | Paris, France | 1934
Image of Boulevard ...
Boulevard Victor facade, view from the west.

ProjectBoulevard Victor Apartments
ArchitectPatout, Pierre
Address2 Blvd. Victor (15th)
Building TypeSlab, gallery access
Number of DwellingsNA
Date Built1934
Dwelling Typesstudio, 1 br. flats, duplex artists
No. Floors9
Section Typeskip-stop gallery access
Exterior Finish
stucco, cut stone, metal windows
Construction TypeR-C frame
Ancillary Servicesshops at grade, basement

This building was designed with the metaphor of a ship in mind by an architect who had worked on the design of the interiors of several ocean liners including the IIe-de-France and the Atlantique, and the Normandy between 1928 and 1935. The long linear building which is only 7 1/2 feet wide at the "prow", and 30 feet wide at the "stern" was built on an almost impossibly narrow parcel of land between Boulevard Victor and railroad tracks about 60 feet above. The linear quality of the site is further emphasized by the division of the street facade into distinct horizontal bands. A zone of shops and service spaces occupies a zone along the tree-lined street that is separated from the apartments above by a continuous horizontal band of glass. The two floors above the shops cantilever out several feet. This cantilevered part is further divided by two-story high vertical slots of glass in the lower floors, a zone of atelier apartments that contain double-height spaces. Above this are three floors of continuous strip windows and finally, two floors of atelier apartments that are set back to the shop frontage and rendered as freestanding elements that approximate the upper decks of an ocean liner. The sharp prow of the building is stepped so that terraces are formed on this end. A long narrow duplex apartment that Patout designed for himself occupies this stepped end marking a dominant position above the building entrance. A narrow road ramps up the hill behind the building to the level of the tracks above. The building is organized with circulation galleries along this side, a rather blank facade towards the hillside and the tracks above so that all rooms face the boulevard. The imagery of an ocean liner sailing along Boulevard Victor is inescapable; certainly Patout's design is the most elaborate example of that manner of building that emerged in Paris between the world wars that was modeled after ocean parquebot. Aside from Patout's eccentric apartment and the larger flats at the wider end, the building mostly contains the atelier style apartments that were popular with the Paris bourgeoisie in the early years of the century. The use of diagonal struts can be seen in the section, the result of the need for lateral bracing in an extremely narrow building form.

Guide To Modern Architecture In Paris, 1900-1995, Syros Alternatives, Paris, 1990, p. 180.

Architecture, mouvement, continuité, April, 1974, no. 35, pp. 53-60.

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