This new social-housing complex in Champigny-sur-Marne, outside Paris, is dubbed Urban Collage, but what really is going on here is more of a suburban ménage à trois. Paying homage to the neighborhood's existing mix of residential styles, architect Maison Édouard François created an intriguing discourse by stacking single-family residence atop housing block atop townhouse. “We didn't want to ignore this urban chaos,” says architect Eitan Hammer. “We decided to identify it and work with it.”A single concrete structural system runs between the typologies, starting with the copper-, zinc-, or ceramic-tile-clad townhouses at the base, on through the stucco components above. Unique entrance sequences and skewed orientations bring further variety to each piece of this most unusual design for living.
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Former Architectural Record managing editor Beth Broome is a contributing editor and freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York.