Paris-based architect Jacques Moussafir laughed and then had to count out loud when asked exactly how many floors exist in the 1,650-square-foot house he designed for a bachelor in the city's fashionable Latin Quarter. By Moussafir's calculation, there are 10, including a roof terrace; each level is a single room (if that) branching out from a central staircase core, “like a propeller.” The client requested that there be no doors, and Moussafir's eponymous firm happily complied–though it did enclose two bathrooms. “It's always a dream when a client says they don't want any partitions,” says the architect. Locust-wood paneling on the floors, ceilings, and stairs contrasts with whitewashed masonry walls.

The steel-and-concrete structure sits between two buildings in a residential courtyard, where an old house was razed for the new one. Local preservation regulations dictated that the architect save two walls of the original house. Electronically operated metal shutters with a laser-cut leaf pattern shade the new, glazed southern facade and provide privacy for the occupant–as well as the neighbors.

Completion Date: February 2012

Gross Square Footage: 1,647 square feet + 183-square-foot roof terrace

Total construction cost: 850 000' excl. VAT

Location: 22, Rue Jacob, 6th Arrondissement, Paris, France


Moussafir Architectes
5, rue d’Hauteville
75010 PARIS  
T: 0033 (0)1 48 24 38 30

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Jacques Moussafir with Alexis Duquennoy, project manager, and Na An

Engineer(s): LBE (HVAC engineers), CE Ingénierie and Malishev Wilson Engineers (structural engineers)

Contractors: Microsol (deep foundations), Lisandre (concrete work, plumbing, fittings), Général Métal (metal frame and metal shutters), MGN (exterior door and window frames), B2E (electricity), Tischlerei Bereuter (interior woodwork and paneling).

Hervé Abbadie
Cellular phone: 00 33 (0)6 17 95 49 98

Jens Arnold (outside front views)

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad



Structural system
Pile foundations, concrete basement liner and steel superstructure with cantilevered steel beams around a central core. The main upper floor (bedroom level) is cantilevered in order to be independent from the neighbor’s wall.

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Existing walls refurbished along the north and east façades.

Metal Panels: Coated steel cladding panels on roof terrace level.

Metal/glass curtain wall: Steel FORSTER frames with extra-clear glass and electrically operated shutters made of lacquered laser-cut steel.

Wood: Ipe wood on the outside balcony and roof terrace floors

Built-up roofing: steel roof planters supporting wooden panels under the waterproofing membrane. Insulation is provided by layers of glass wool located below the wooden panels.

Other: SOPREMA vegetated roof system with self-sustaining plants

Wood frame: wooden window frames inserted in the existing east and north façades

Metal frame: coated steel FORSTER frames on the south and east façades, coated aluminium frames on the 2 roof lights

Glass: double glazing with laminated extra-clear glass

Skylights: double glazing with laminated extra-clear glass

Entrances: glazed entrance door with coated steel FORSTER frame

Metal doors: terrace glazed door with coated aluminium frame

Wood doors: wooden glazed doors on the eastern façade and inside doors paneled with ADMONTER 14mm locust tree boards.

Sliding doors: coated aluminium sliding doors for bedroom opening (south façade)

Other special hardware: JAKOB stainless steel mesh guardrails

Interior finishes
Wall coverings: walls, floors and ceilings are covered with ADMONTER dark locust tree boards except for the pre-existing masonry walls painted white

Paneling: ADMONTER dark locust tree boards fixed on fire-resistant plasterboards in the main space + HPL high density panels in the kitchen

Solid surfacing: ARDEX white resinous concrete for ground and basement floors, ADMONTER dark locust tree boards for the upper levels

Special surfacing:white HPL high density panels for the kitchen floor and furniture

Floor and wall tile: creamy color tiles on WEDI waterproof tiling boards for the toilet and bathroom

Other furniture: cupboard shelves and inside panelings made of lacquered high density wooden boards with translucent glazed doors surrounded by concrete frames sealed in the existing masonry walls

Interior ambient lighting: all lighting systems manufactured by VIABIZZUNO

Energy management or building automation system: Gas energy for producing hot water and low temperature water heating system incorporated under the floors

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Re-use of rain water for gardening