The rehabilitation work consisted of gutting the Haussmann building, partitioning the vast reception hall to create 126 living units or cells - all different, due to the peculiarities of the original building.
The project was an opportunity for the agency to push its own thinking on reinventions of alliances between ornamentation and series, in this case on the possible hybridizations between Haussmann moldings and the new features of a building used for social housing for young people. Because, with a nod to history and the programme, before being used for workers from disadvantaged and low-income communities, this nineteenth-century building was the preserve of the more affluent social classes.
With regard to the stucco work, moldings and picture rails that once adorned the bourgeois apartments, we decided to reintroduce detail into the programme. To mitigate the "flat" serial character of the housing for the young workers, the agency suggested that four photographic artists - Frédéric Delangle, Valerie Sanfratello, Christoph Sillem and Laure Vasconi - be commissioned to decorate the doors on one or more floors of the residence with large-format photographs.x