The Sequoias Apartments Massy, Paris Apartment Development, Parisian Building Design Photos, French Architecture

The Sequoias Apartments, Massy, Paris, France

27 Jan 2023

Architects: PietriArchitectes

Location: Massy, district of Vilgénis, Paris, France

The Sequoias Apartments Massy

Photos by Hugo Hébrard

The Sequoias Apartments, France

PietriArchitectes is delivering a project for the city of Massy located in the department of Essonne (91). As part of an urban complex designed by Leclercq Associés, this project, called The Sequoias, has the particularity of establishing itself in an environment rich in biodiversity. For that reason, the architectural drawing was oriented towards the conservation and the preservation of the natural environment. Although both buildings are quite different from one another, they are also very similar in terms of colors, as well as through the way they tend to fit into the environment, which is a highly valued consideration by PietriArchitectes in their projects.

A district full of history and nature
The project is situated in the district of Vilgénis, located in the Northwest part of the city. The site includes a natural park of more than 20 hectares, as well as a castle and other classified monuments. The sector was previously an Air France property, but for the past 10 years it has been converted into a new residential area and an accessible public space in the forest. The entire site is accessible to the inhabitants in order to promote a spirit of “living together” while honoring and respecting biodiversity and the site’s natural heritage.

The Sequoias Apartments Massy

An urban program focused on the environment and its preservation
The redevelopment project was carried out by Leclercq Associés, recognized for their transversal approach between urban planning, architecture, and landscape. Located in front of the park, the urban program takes part in the landscape by preserving the visual perspectives and maintaining the biodiversity of the site. The residential homes were designed by architects with various backgrounds, including KOZ Architectes, Itar Architectes, and Ameller Dubois, who successfully fulfilled the environmental requirements. The role of PietriArchitectes takes hold within the global strategy, and with the design of two buildings fitted to the context.

Two complementary, yet opposing architectures
The studio’s project involves a 76-unit program, divided into two separate volumes. The complex is articulated around a garden, preserving several remarkable trees, and proposes two different architectural identities.

The first building is cubic and monolithic, and offers overlapping duplex apartments. On the North side, the brick façade, perforated by discreet windows, provides privacy to the dwellings. On the garden side, generous balconies made from raw concrete appear like an exoskeleton. The second building is composed of apartments arranged in layers organized according to the topography, enabling them to benefit from favorable solar orientation. Each apartment also has a generous terrace or loggia.

The first intention was to bring a certain softness to the operation, but also to respect its environment. The design of the two buildings was also conceived with the idea of preserving existing trees on the site and, in particular, a spectacular black pine.

The two buildings play with identical materials and similar hues: beige brick, a light-stained plaster, Japanese-style burnt wood, and precast concrete. The burnt wood is derived from an ancestral Japanese method and is an eco-responsible material obtained from the plant biomass. Furthermore, its dark color echoes the majestic black pine of the site. The entire project features dark wood carpentry that highlights the design of the openings of each building. Despite a humid environment linked to the presence of the forest, the materials used are noble and sustainable, and they respond to a desire for sustainability and complete harmony.

The project and its environment
Both buildings are bordered by a new road and a pedestrian path connecting the park and the inhabited forest. The ground floor provides access to a semi-buried parking area, thus reducing the noise and visual nuisances induced by cars. The parking are is topped by the garden, with its construction benefiting from the topography to prevent a deep dig into the earth. The project also adapts itself to the needs of tomorrow by offering more than a hundred bicycle parking spots. To respond to the sustainable ambition, all the roofs are vegetated and coupled to a rainwater retention device. The height of the West and East buildings is adapted to the conserved trees and topography of the site.

The aim of PietriArchitectes is to put the forest at the heart of the project, with a desire to conserve the existing vegetation. In fact, each tree torn down during the construction site was replanted, with new plantations developed to preserve the identity of the site. To offset the relative density of the park, the building volumetrics create visual breakthroughs that provide ventilation to the space, while offering a garden that is open to the neighbourhood.

The two residential buildings developed by PietriArchitectes form part of a dynamic neighbourhood offering a high quality of life, with quality public spaces for its inhabitants. This includes a shopping square at the South entrance, and an adventure area for children and their families to promote discovery of nature as seen in Scandinavia. The site offers also a City Stadium, as well as a quiet area accessible to all inhabitants with the presence of facilities and a natural area designed to preserve biodiversity.

Through The Sequoias, PietriArchitectes is convinced that architectural research can still provide solutions to achieve quality housing that is environmentally respectful, thus enabling a true “living together” environment.

The Sequoias Apartments Massy

The Sequoias Apartments in Massy, Paris – Building Information

Design: PietriArchitectes –

Project: 76 housing units
Client: Vinci Immobilier
Area: 5 427 sqm SDP
Cost: 7,5 M€ HT
Completion: 2022
Environmental Certifications: RT2012/ NF Habitat/ HQE: High performing level
Landscape designer: Baseland

About PietriArchitectes
Jean-Baptiste Pietri, originally from Marseille and a graduate of Paris-Belleville School of Architecture, settled in Paris 30 years ago and founded his agency in 2001. His team, comprised of twenty collaborators, is based in the 11th district of Paris. Even in his architectural creations, Jean-Baptiste Pietri maintains a very strong link with the region of his childhood, as demonstrated in his projects that adopt the Mediterranean architectural language: a solar architecture, with rounded shapes and white limestone tones, generous and respectful of its environment.

PietriArchitectes builds throughout France, allowing itself to confirm the plurality of its architectural vocabulary, adapted to the building context, while deploying a style of its own. Its projects cover a wide variety of programs, both public and private, ranging from single-family homes to office towers, including a luxury waterfront hotel. Jean-Baptiste Pietri claims an architectural approach that is both precise and poetic, built and developed around a philosophy: The Romantic Rationalism. The concept articulates a rigorous and optimized construction design with a rather expressive interpretation of the site. The architect must make people dream, but their works must be demanding.

Urban space is at the heart of his concerns. Jean-Baptiste Pietri invokes a real urban politeness marked by his desire to inscribe his creations in their time, while avoiding being brutal or provocative: integration and balance, while creating desire. Moreover, the nobility of the materials used, sometimes made-to-measure, holds a primordial place in each project’s design.

Photography: Hugo Hébrard

The Sequoias Apartments, Massy, Paris images / information received 270123 from PietriArchitectes

Location: Massy, Essonne, Paris, France

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