Rotunno Justman Architects gives urban living in Paris A new view

A contemporary Parisian home enveloped in light and steel curtain embodies a connection to nature and urban harmony.

Dense cities are in need of housing alternatives. Demonstrating how modern solutions can help to resolve contemporary problems, Franco-Italian architectural firm Rotunno Justman has extended and renovated a building in the 15th arrondissement of Paris to increase its spatial usability.

The project, which was completed in February of 2021, aimed to be minimal in its urban intervention to preserve the unity of its surroundings. Environmentally friendly materials, a spectacular roof garden, and a redesign of the facade of the apartment with a steel ‘curtain’ all work towards harmonious densification of the district and skyline

In the interior, the agency took special care to implement low carbon solutions by using reusable and recyclable materials. Materials such as wood are found throughout the space (wood is structural). For example, all wall linings were made out of recycled paper fibers and gypsum, the insulation was made out of wood wool, and heated floors maximize efficient heat distribution.

The agency took special care to implement low carbon solutions by using reusable and recyclable materials, such as wood and steel – © Hervé Abbadie

A key feature of the renovation was the addition of two floors of the 4th floor and the introduction of a roof garden. Glass walls on the 4th floor not only increase the amount of natural light entering the space but also help accentuate the high, newly lifted ceilings. The roof garden has both terraced and hill-like spaces allowing users to enjoy views of the city while feeling surrounded by nature. The largely vegetated roof also helps prevent summer overheating thanks to the twenty to forty centimeter deep tubs filled with topsoil limits that can store water in the event of a storm.

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A roof garden was added and has both terraced and hill-like spaces for users to enjoy the view and feel surrounded by nature – © Hervé Abbadie

The elevation’s facades are dressed in a double layer of perforated and vertically-ribbed steel. This subtle double-layer flows around the space — almost like a pleated veil that assists in varying the expression of the space according to the time and the moment while still complementing the existing building. This layer offers a contemporary reinterpretation of classic Parisian skylights, as does the structure’s volume which embellishes surrounding forms while reinforcing the idea of contemporary urban evolution in form

Rotunno Justman Architects was founded in 2018 by Maria-Giulia Rotunno and Ary Justman. Like this Parisian home, all of their projects employ a humanistic interpretation of classic designs, but with a contemporary and environmental twist. Inspired by their previous experience in firms like Shigeru Ban Europe, Sou Fujimoto Paris, and TESS Engineering Workshop, they believe that a project “must help regenerate the city.”

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This Parisian home is an interpretation of classic design, with a contemporary and environmental twist – © Rotunno Justman (top) & Hervé Abbadie (bottom)
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