Tuesday, March 26, 2024

DREAM – Athletes Village in Saint-Ouen (France)

I still get quite a lot of press emails and once in awhile one actually attracts my notice. Such was the case when this email came across my desk for Les Belvederes, a new development outside of Paris built for the upcoming olympics but meant to remain far afterwards. The most striking thing about this very nicely designed, handsome building is that it's the largest building built of wood. So beautiful!
As part of the most ambitious project of the decade for the Paris metropolis, architect Dominique Perrault has been entrusted with the design of sector E, located on the right bank of the Seine, between the Cité du Cinéma and the Vieux Saint-Ouen. Called «Les Belvédères» in reference to its location and the height of its buildings (up to the GF+ 10), this is the most residential of the new district’s sectors, which will include more than a fifth of the Village’s 2,500 homes. These are divided, in a mixed program, into five lots and nineteen buildings, all new construction, on which seven architecture agencies worked as a cohesive unit.

In this favorable context, DREAM is responsible for building 13,477 m2 of office space on the E3 block, and is proposing to add a 1,000 m2 sports facility on the roof. Dedicated to the practice of basketball, the gymnasium, set off by great heights and beautiful transparencies, offers an unobstructed view of the Grand Paris.

This innovative program reflects the long- standing commitment of the DREAM agency, and its founder Dimitri Roussel, to sports as a means of enhancing urbanity. To implement it, DREAM proposed an innovative and attractive business model, and included a sports operator in the project. This evolution of the program reflects the adaptation of architecture to contemporary societal issues, contributing through sport to the well-being of the city of tomorrow.

The project was co-promoted by Nexity, Eiffage Immobilier and CDC Habitat, with investment from Groupama Immobilier and the companies Eiffage Construction and Dalkia Smart Building, in the pursuit of very high environmental performance.

This building is one of the most emblematic of the Paris Games site. It’s not just for future residents, but also for those who’ve been here all their lives. For DREAM, social grafting with the territory is the main challenge of the project. The architecture features an active design that creates links and encounters between the various users. On the ground floor, a Food Court activates and extends the public space by creating a continuity of floor space. Throughout the building, external air and light circulations encourage movement and facilitate a vertical mix of uses. The rooftop gymnasium is used by all local residents as a proximity facility.

As the only 36-meter-high building with a timber structure, the project achieves high carbon storage performance (700 kgCO2/m2 versus 1500 kgCO2/m2 on average).

The low-carbon concrete infrastructure provides naturally lit, reversible parking spaces for extending the ground floor programs, as well as a solid wood post-and- beam superstructure and prefabricated low-carbon concrete floors from GF+1 to GF+6. The top level, with its 8 meter headroom and exposed timber framework, lights up in the evening, revealing the spectacle of sport.

The same applies to comfort and energy management : a photovoltaic power plant guarantees 20% self-consumption and better control of consumption, particularly in winter, and the design of the building itself guarantees less than 70 hours of discomfort during heatwaves.

The materiality, color and texture of the cladding tiles evoke the brickwork and fabric of the Vieux Saint-Ouen, reminiscent of the site’s historic industrial architecture, accentuated by the use of large, double- height glass frames.

LOCATION : Lot E3, Saint-Ouen, France
PROJECT MANAGERS : Nexity, Eiffage Immobilier and CDC Habitat



COMPANIES  : Eiffage Construction / Dalkia Smart Building / Wooden structure : SIMONIN Wood Solutions / Facade : Groupe Goyer / Cladding  : Terreal and Les Pierreux Franciliens

INVESTOR : Groupama Immobilier

Offices, stores, sports facilities and rooftop

SURFACE : 15 000 m2 Floor Area (13 000 m2 of offices, 800 m2 of stores, 1 200 m2 sports facilities)


E2C2, BREEAM excellent level, BBCA excellent level

photographs :  © Cyrille Weiner
graphic documents :  © DREAM

Photography: Cyrille Weiner