In France an important public program is being mounted to deconstruct the high-rise housing estates from the 1960s and 70s (demolition/reconstruction on a one-to-one basis), thus expressing a strong will to transform the
image of the city. At the same time an important deficit is observed of public housing, one which would, on the contrary, call for an increase and an acceleration in building terms. In this context, we consider that demolition is aberrant and that transformation would permit one to respond to needs in a more economic, more effective and more qualitative way.
While today the high-rise estates present housing conditions that are in most of the cases unsatisfactory and inadequate, we are nevertheless convinced that a potential for quality remains associated with them. More often than not the structural, geographic and spatial potential of these great buildings is a valuable point of departure for radically improving current housing conditions.
To offer flats that have twice the surface area and are bathed in natural light, to offer diversified, non-standard typologies, service and usage facilities, and to consider the quality of the interiors and the communal spaces as prior to urban quality are today's objectives.
Frédéric Druot, Anne Lacaton & Jean Philippe Vassal, architects
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