Perimeter block, cornerPerimeter block, infillSlab, point-access
ZAC, Reuilly-Galfetti
Galfetti, Aurelio | Paris, France | 1989
Image of ZAC, Reuil...
Reuilly facade.

ProjectZAC, Reuilly-Galfetti
ArchitectGalfetti, Aurelio
Address20 rue de Reuilly (12th)
Building TypePerimeter block, corner
Perimeter block, infill
Slab, point-access
Number of DwellingsNA
Date Built1989
Dwelling Typesflats
No. Floors8
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
plaster, marble, precast conc., glass block, metal windows
Construction TypeRC frame
Ancillary Servicesshops, basement parking

ZAC Reuilly is one of the large city redevelopment projects for the east end of Paris (see ZAC Bercy for a description of the ZAC program). Like other ZAC projects, a coordinating architect (M.R. Scweitzer) was selected to develop an overall concept and direct a group of other architects, each designing different parts of the complex. Reuilly is a huge, mixed-use project (12.5 hectares) built on a triangular site in the heart of the 12th arrondissement that was formerly occupied by a large, elevated market area (Gare aux Marchandises) along the 19th century Bastille-Vincennes train line which was raised on a long viaduct that terminated in the Bastille station. The triangle is bounded by Rue Montgallet on the northwest, Rue de Reuilly on the northeast, and Avenue Daumesnil along the southern edge, generally following the meander of the tracks. Part of the APUR plan for rebuilding the Reuilly area was to turn the viaduct into a continuous, raised, landscaped, pedestrian promenade, la Promenade Plantee-Bastille-Bois de Vincenees, connecting the new Opera de la Bastille, which had been built on the site of the old Gare Bastille, with Bois de Vincennes. Where the viaduct passes through the city, the vaulted supports have been enclosed and are used as artisans' shops with occasional connecting stairs to the promenade above. Where the viaduct passes the Reuilly site, a large circular public park--espace Reuilly--has been created marking the southwest corner of the triangle. A pedestrian suspension bridge connects across the park continuing the passage of the viaduct.

New buildings have been built in three groups along each of the three streets. Two new allees, one parallel to Rue Montgallet and the other parallel to Avenue Daumesnil, radiate out from the circular park forming two new residential tree-lined boulevards. A combination of continuous slabs and articulated point-access blocks line these streets, backing up to existing earlier buildings along the street. The third group of buildings, built along Rue de Reuilly, fills in the remaining awkward areas of the triangle, simultaneously filling spaces leftover from the random siting of several earlier buildings, defining the north edge of the park, and creating a new public square at the intersection of Rue Montgallet and Rue de Reuilly at the northwest corner of the site.

Galfetti's building is part of a continuous wall of apartments built along a new residential street on the interior of the site, Rue J. Hillairet, that backs up to a continuous edge of 1960's residential slabs built along Rue Montgallet. Articulated as freestanding blocks at the end fronting the park, this wall of housing ends in a new public square at the intersection of Reuilly and Montgallet. The inflected facade of Galfetti's stubby corner tower marks the end of this wall where the flush wall of the side street morphs to a semi-free-standing "palazzo" facing the square. The 8-story height responds to the Haussmannian height of the surrounding city. The plan is a point-access type with two flats per floor organized with living spaces facing Rue Hillairet and bedrooms facing the interior garden court. The end block, facing the square, contains smaller one bedroom dwellings with the end apartments opening to balconies overlooking the square. The entrance lobbies along the street define a two-story high horizontal zone that is marked by an alternating recessed zone of deflected windows and balconies above. This two-story base is also defined in the block facing the square where a shop occupies the bottom two floors. The alternating vertical rhythm of the entrance zones contrasts sharply with the horizontal banding of the facades where flush, narrow bands of white marble alternate with black plaster resulting in a decorative "Ticinese" effect. This results in a vertical emphasis on the facade fronting the square and a scalar tuning of the building to the proportions of a square that is defined by other taller buildings. The huge framed quality of this facade, the centralized nature of the coulisse between the balconies and the flush glass on the shop front on the bottom two floors have the added effect of rendering the end of the street wall as a mini tower. The continuous black cornice frames the articulated zones of windows and balconies which are expressed in precast panels, glass block panels that are framed in concrete, and metal windows. This concatenated rhythm of solid and void carries over to the garden facade where the balconies cantilever out from the face of the building and are detailed as an extended screen of glass block framed in a concrete grid, a continuation of the recessed glass block panels on the principle facade.

Jean-Louis Cohen & Bruno Fortier, Paris La Ville et Ses Projects, A City In The Making, Éditions Babylone, Pavillon de l'Arsenal, Paris, 1992, p. 180.

Casabella, July, 1991, vol. 581, p. 53.


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