Construction has begun – and the first trees have been planted – at an 18-storey apartment block in the southwest suburbs of Paris.
The “urban oasis” in Issy-les-Moulineaux was designed by Dutch architect MVRDV. La Serre – the Greenhouse – is a 190-unit block contained within a grid-like steel rack façade. About a quarter of the inhabited space is dedicated to terraces and balconies, the equivalent to 15 sq m of outdoor space per resident.
There is also a vertical garden with 150 different species, 70% of which are native. The architect also collaborated with ecologists on the best way to include nesting boxes for birds and bats.
Stairs and footbridges connect the shared area on the ground floor main hall with the communal rooftop garden.
André Santini, the mayor of Issy-les-Moulineaux, said: “The project prioritises nature and the building recedes into the background. This urban oasis is not just a residential space; it’s a genuine village square.”
Winy Maas, MVRDV’s founder, said: “This green, vertical community is home to a veritable social and ecological ecosystem, thanks to its animated façade.
“La Serre demonstrates how the biological and the social can be fostered simultaneously in architecture. By harnessing the well being of people and nature in this project, we hope to inspire similar innovative and sustainable hybrid typologies, both in the Paris region and around the world.”