“Housing must be able to adapt to all interior scenarios”

Tribune. For thirty years, the real estate market has given up on sustainable construction, discarded the basic qualities of use, confiscated 5 to 10 square meters of old typologies, evacuated the mix of populations … The platforms of architects are multiplying, the citizens’ convention was not heard much on its recommendations. So, are we faced with a definitive misunderstanding between investors, owners and users?

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Rediscovering the relationship with users, housing as many people as possible, living better are the emergencies that we can no longer doubt. Building stakeholders are aware of the emergence of a major national project, the ministries of culture and housing have just initiated measures for the quality of the habitat of tomorrow. This new situation should generate new urban and architectural forms in disrupted geographical and climatic contexts.

This involves in particular no longer building the un-transformable, but admitting the temporary use of a building. We must reinvent industrialized, economically credible construction processes, with the objective of anticipating the reversibility of use, whatever the original program. One building, several lives … on condition of planning its evolution.

Repair rather than destroy

This anticipation commits to dissociating program and constructive system for the benefit of permanent flexibility of use. Here, we need manufacturers and builders. We must hope for the disappearance of hyperspecialized models – offices, housing, activities – without weakening the diversity of architectural expressions. There, we need lawyers and notaries.

The derogatory measures adopted since March 2019, as part of the innovation permit integrated into the texts of the ELAN law, should make it possible to respond in part to these challenges.

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This applies as much to new buildings as to the transformations of existing buildings. As questions about office real estate are accelerating – obsolescence of models, atomization strategy, progression of teleworking – the City of Paris is already actively encouraging the transformation of old offices into housing. Repairing rather than destroying is one of the solutions for creating homes. The manna represented by the existing heritage invites us to do so.

The latest sanitary episodes have revealed the desire to increase the volumes of the dwellings (additional room, loggias, etc.), how can we not be in favor of these measures? But is it really necessary to increase the surface areas of housing (and therefore the values ​​of rent or debt) without simultaneously exploring immediate alternatives? Can we rather wonder about the increase in the comfort of the habitat without additional square meter, be inventive at constant surface by pooling a few square meters of services for the benefit of the collective, on the scale of the block? ?

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