Thursday, March 29, 2012

Can Housing Projects Find Redemption?

The N.Y. Times chronicles the successful remodeling of an ugly, mid-century housing tower on the outskirts of Paris:

The tower was a natural candidate for the French wrecking ball after decades of neglect and decay, but tenants didn’t want to lose their homes. So an unusual question arose: might the building become a candidate for a different approach?  A competition was organized by Paris Habitat, the Paris Office for Public Housing, in 2005 to renovate the building. The challenge: to repair the tower’s crumbling infrastructure, upgrade its common spaces and its exterior, and — this was the most radical part — add more light and square footage to dark, cramped apartments, without changing the footprint of the building, which couldn’t be extended. Oh, yes, and to spend less money for all this than the cost of tearing the building down and then rebuilding.

Steve Clowney

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