Perimeter blockSlab, point-access
Bercy-Gabriel Apartments
LLTR Architectes (O. Le Boursicot, P. Loth, G. Testas, Y. Robert) | Paris, France | 1997
Image of Bercy-Gabr...
South Facade

ProjectBercy-Gabriel Apartments
ArchitectLLTR Architectes (O. Le Boursicot, P. Loth, G. Testas, Y. Robert)
Address14-16 Rue l'Aubrac/51 rue Francois Truffanu2th)
Building TypePerimeter block
Slab, point-access
Number of Dwellings187
Date Built1997
Dwelling Typesstudio, 2,2, & 3 BR flats, some penthouse maisonettes
No. Floors7-9
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
plaster, stone, concrete, glass, steel,
Construction TypeRC frame
Ancillary Servicesbelow grade parking, shops at grade

The line of apartments facing the new Parc Bercy created a zone of rectangular residential courtyards along the north edge of the park. These buildings are based on a concept by the coordinating architect Jean-Pierre Buffi to develop a building type that combined notions of typical perimeter blocks with a type of semi-attached pavilion that was designed as a response to the enormous visual amenity that the new park offered. The Bercy blocks, each designed by a different architect, were highly publicized The Bercy site, however, also included a parallel row of less-well-known perimeter blocks behind the park frontage in a zone between street and the tracks and warehouses serving Gare d'Lyon. Part of the idea behind the conversion of the Bercy wine storage yards and buildings, in addition to the creation of a major new public park, was to transform the eastern end of the site into a new commercial center, Bercy Expo, and to provide a new metró station, at this end of the park. The row of blocks behind the original Bercy frontage were planned to provide a pedestrian connection to Bercy Expo, involving the renovation of part of the old wine warehouse district, an oblique double row of brick sheds at the east end of the park. While Buffi's open courtyard system made sense for the sites facing the park, a typology of closed blocks was more suitable for the blocks connecting past the wine warehouses to Bercy Expo. Here, the blocks have been rotated 180 degrees so that the interior courtyards face north and the buildings form a continuous façade on the south that effectively defines a pedestrian walk and a new plaza at the north end of the street of remodeled wine sheds.

The 9-story, u-shaped building, that occupies the block immediately north of the most eastern of the original Bercy blocks, is formed by three discreet elements; a long east-west slab and two tower elements that attach to the ends forming a rectangular courtyard that opens to the north and the sloping site below the railroad tracks. The building elements are articulated where they connect and each has individual circulation cores. Similar to the original blocks facing Parc Bercy, the interior of these blocks are designed as a landscaped courtyards with parking below. The east-west slab defines a long paved walkway past a school and playground that connects to a public plaza at the ends of the zone of old warehouses. Like the earlier buildings, the ground floor space on the public side is commercial, there is a zone of two-story high penthouses and terraces on the top, and a similar continuous zone of strip windows, white concrete and gray sandstone panels, black blinds, and cantilevered balconies results in a layered horizontal appearance on the street façade. The courtyard blocks are only 7-stories tall but have similar, but less elaborate, facades with alternating bands of glass and either white or gray panels.

Techniques et Architecture, Feb, 1999, p. 80.

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