Student housing: Marne La Vallée

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This is the reconversion of an old farmhouse with the objective of installing the student housing for Paris Est Marne-La-Vallée. The main buildings have been preserved except for the East wing as the original condition did not allow for conservation. The reconstructed parts respect the initial morphology of the frame. The conservation of these buildings was to primarily take advantage of the luxury of large volumes while using the building for modern use. The first step consisted in taking up the building underpinning work and to install a unitary roof over the entire length of the building. This unitary roof unit covers old and new construction, provides light and gives thermal and acoustic comfort. The roof acts as a regulator: it is covered with an expanded aluminum mesh whose geometry allows effective sun protection in summer while letting the light penetrate in winter.

The ventilation network as well as the cable ducts are below this technical roof. This principle allows the walls to keep their massiveness without having to intervene again, therefore taking advantage of their tremendous inertia. Lined with hemp concrete and hemp-lime plaster coating, the walls also act as regulators and allow hygric exchange between the interior and exterior of the building: the walls breathe.

This lining coverage integrates well with the walls and contrasts with the correctness of the roof.

In new areas, pumice stone blocks and the use of raw and natural materials complete the structure.


At the time of the «throwaway society», the project is designed as a tool for students demonstrating the capablity of evolving with the practices and changes in allocations. The result is a long lasting building.


Lessons learnt

n/a at present time

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