Architectural expertise using innovative materials: Villa des Sciences in Paris is born, in partnership with LG Hausys' HI-MACS®

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LOG Architectes has created a building containing offices, housing and shops in its local urban Parisian environment. The next generation HI-MACS® acrylic stone was chosen to adorn the interior of the villa's foyer and two-storey flat.

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For the team of architects, the initial challenge was to determine how to handle angles whilst connecting the street façade to the end wall which will likewise appear as a façade. This project involved substantial advance planning concerning the definition of a simple footprint, spacing between openings and the choice of materials. The aim was to smoothly incorporate this new residential block into its urban setting. Space management, architectural choices and the selection of finishing colours were all planned to provide logical continuity between the shops and the housing blocks. To that end, the size of the Villa des Sciences aligns with the scale along its street. The gradual succession of different sizes of openings echoes the classic verticality of windows in working-class buildings and contrasts with the geometry of the window strips in the building on Rue Pasteur (15th arrondissement). The bays, which were designed on the basis of this notion, help to give the lounge a larger feel.

Further, the alternating colour of the brick that forms the façade is a gradation that shifts from white to grey and then to anthracite grey, for more contemporary lighting of the façade. The issue of angles was resolved quite simply by the use of faux windows that continue the look of the main bay windows on the street side. A recessed glass tile joint clearly separates the "gable" from the adjoining red brick cube and illuminates the common areas.

Interior design: the foyer and the two-storey flat

The solid surface HI-MACS® satisfied the expectations of the Villa's architect designers thanks to its hygienic properties, its translucence and its invisible joints, which allowed them to unleash their full creative potential and create subtle effects with the material, routing it here to make it translucent and grooving it there to add relief via the backlighting system. During the daytime, the entryway appears very smooth and even, but at nightfall, illuminated arrows appear to liven it up, directly embedded in the HI-MACS® acrylic stone and reflecting the angular geometry of the building. This invisible decorative lighting system cleverly diffuses its illumination. Beyond the entryway, a small courtyard is bedecked with panels with vertical relief that creates an interplay of shadows. Lastly, a system of illuminated skirting boards and continuous linear lighting with graphic accents guides the building's residents.

The two-storey flat is located on the upper (5th and 6th floors) of the block, with all its water supply rooms (kitchen, bathroom, shower room and toilet) enjoying natural ventilation and lighting.

The HI-MACS® design of the rooms was conceived from A to Z with special attention to detail: the solid white surface adorns the entire kitchen (worktop, cupboard doors and facings of sideboards and light strips), the furniture in the water supply rooms, as well as the washroom basins, all of which were custom made. Its smooth, non-porous surface is perfect for water supply zones, making the whole pleasant to the touch yet sturdy enough for intensive use, and preventing bacteria and dirt from penetrating and altering the material.

The white colour of the next generation acrylic stone captures and diffuses light, creating an atmosphere that is conducive to rest and tranquillity. Made of natural stone powder (70%), high quality acrylic resin (25%) and natural pigments (5%), HI-MACS® guarantees a high level of resistance in combination with a very efficient, top of the line design. The next generation acrylic stone has no visible joints and largely surpasses "classic" materials by meeting the strictest standards in terms of aesthetics, manufacturing, functionality and hygiene.

PROJECT INFORMATION

PROJECT: Villa des Sciences
DURATION OF WORK: 14 months
LOCATION: 33 Rue du Docteur Roux, 75015 Paris, France
FLOOR SPACE: 1,319 m²
BUDGET: €3.2M ex-VAT
CONTRACTING AUTHORITY: Quanim
DESIGN & PROJECT MANAGEMENT: LOG Architectes http://www.logarchitectes.com (architecture and interior design)
MATERIAL: HI-MACS® Alpine White http://www.himacs.eu
HI-MACS® SUPPLIER: Grosjean Solutions Bois http://www.grosjean-bois.com
PHOTOGRAPH: © Vincent Fillon

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Mariana FREDES
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