Portfolio Alexandre Moulin
SPATIAL APPARATUS / SOCIAL INTERACTION The act of creation in the realm of architecture, with the whole responsibilities relating to it, has to be based on stances that consider the different fields composing the project. It is complex, therefore rich and ambivalent, and referenced so it gives the possibility to have a critical eye. Let’s suppose that the average person merely choses among a number of existing and proposed housings : an apartment in a building (whatever its shape and situation) or a suburban house (the compromise between a researched individuality and an economic solution), passing by the option of an urban house (primary urban component)... Though, the ways of living we dispose of may not correspond anymore to the yearnings of a pluralist society which is becoming more and more complex and difficult to define. Relying on the analytic and critical works of some professionals who observe individuals (sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and geographers), it is feasible to find out a certain number of trends, phenomenas and new paradigms of populations that constitute this society. It is our responsibility – people who think and make cities – to consider those resources in order to devise habitat areas while taking into account the revelation of reality.
The ‘Living’ (Habiter) in the broad sense, is understood as the way each individual considers the everyday territory. Two factors of the place estimation are to discern. They make reference to the memory of the place in two different ways. The first factor refers to the personal history which the individual has with the place. The sensations felt during an experience of the place, determine our proper consideration of the place ; whether you have been working there or not, or whether you have experienced unease or happiness there. Therefore a same place can be perceived in different ways by several individuals according to the manner the place is understood through the group, through the human relationship. The second factor deals with the physical constitution of the place and its signification. The sensory experience lived in those different contexts (professional, domestic, lesure, constraint) is part of the memory of those places and of their appropriation. The capacity for a place to evoke the memory of an experience, a shape, a sensation, through different level of its conception, gives the place the status of a potentialy appropriable place.
Starting from the two postulates ‘the significance of the individual’s movements’ and ‘the influence of the material surounding on the individual’s spirit’, the architecte can go on exploring his first competence : organising spaces and setting up their relationship. « Looking for an architecture of interference » The project is conceived as a system and takes form as a matrix able to generate urbanity. The system is characteristic and flexible at the same time because it lets the parameters vary – you can also quit or add some - in order to make the project develop gaining a certain degree of urbanity. This notion of urbanity is seen as the level of the intensity and the diversity of frictions, as well as the social mix that characterise the urban life. With this aim in mind, the project evolves in simultaneous ways in different conception scales. On the one hand, it is a matter of defining the units that constitute the whole. Their specificities and the way they work internaly has to be clarified to set up the units of the system of the project. The units do have a different nature depending on the scale of the project, their uses and the way they are related one to another. One the other hand, thinking the project as a system leads to give it a primary structure, an order. This process gives the project a proper vocabulary and its specificity. The aim is to set up the principles of a global structure which organise the units between one to another and govern the field of interactions among those units. The more the project transposes the conventional elements through its proper system, the more the project enriches. By doing that, it implicitly calls on the memory of the space, the memory of a material that provide the appropriation of the individuals. On a third level of conception, the question is how the project relates with its environment. It is the place to precise the relationship between the public and the private sphere, between interiors and exteriors. It is the place to define the degree of penetration of the city and the public field inside the project. Observing the footprints of the site, the project interprets the common components of this place by changing their relationships and by establishing a new dialogue. This approach offers the project the opportunity to make the city. In this way, the project composes with the existing, it sets up spatial apparatus that generate a certain kind of urbanity by reconciling social interactions and the wish to live with ones who reflect a satisfying image of yourself – entresoi.
> quai Henri IV LIN Finn Geipel & Giulia Andi, Berlin 2011-12
> maisons en série ETSAB, Barcelona 2008
> individualité urbaine ENSAL, Lyon 2010
> through the machine Barcelona 2010
> la nuit je mens ESMOUDUBOU, Lyon 2005-09
> maison pour la famille B. David Demange, Lyon 2009
> mosquée Errahama Pascal Fosse, Lyon 2010
The following selection of projects deals with personal projects and projects developed in offices and with collectives. It is a non-exhaustive list of the works I have taken part of. They constitute a corpus that shows a personal approach of architecture.
quai Henri IV living place / typology research / form completion
The project births from its direct relationship with the buildings that connect the plot. It takes the place of a former powder factory from the 19th century. The building finds its form in the logic of the parisian urban fabric : it is traditionally aligned on public space and leaned against the neighbours’ fire walls, so courtyards and gardens appear. The project develops itself in horizontal and continuous layers thanks to continuous balconies. Each level is set back from the one below so the external spaces orientated to the river or to the gardens are always more generous.
The Trans is a deeply profound typology. It is featured by space sequences from a façade to another which reinforces the day and night partition. Mostly composed of 5 rooms and more, the Trans is a big typology and it has sometimes several entrances. Accentuating the traits of a traditional and typical housing, these features give the household a particular privacy. The Mickey, like the Trans, propose a strong day and night partition, or private / public sphere. It has been designed to be split with very few transformations needed. Therefore, it is possible to get two apartments – one 2 rooms and a 1 room – on each side of the bearing wall.
A project of 140 brand new appartments in the center of Paris has been the opportunity to have a deep reflexion on the way to live the city and revisit the parisian typology. In order to do this, the building is cut out in four typologies to offer different ways to use the housings. The project goes through the common way to develop apartments of one room to apartments of five rooms by conveiving houses for categories of people. The first will is to give the possibility to the inhabitant to purchase characteristic and capable places which they can sometimes possibly mute in order to accept other uses and functions.
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The Cyrano gets a very important façade/area ratio. It is hghly centred on the living room orientated south-west. It overlooks the parisian river landscape : the Cité island, the Jardin des Plantes, the quays of the fifth district of Paris. The Ho/HO is a module that can be doubled. In the simple configuration, it is a traditional two rooms apartment. In the double version, the space configuration offers an independence to a part of the housing. It provides the possibility to change the use : professional office, subrentings...
Collaboration with Finn Geipel (LIN) Post-competition phase to the end of development 140 apartments (70 high standing market / 70 social renting), day nursery Area : 12 000m² Cost Price : 32 000 000 E
Rythme Rythme et et répartition répartition en facade en facade
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Urban insertion -11-
Faรงades on courtyards & passages -12-
Apartments typologies -13-
Continuous balconies -14-
Steped floors -15-
maisons en série living place / urban form / landscape
The project is situated on the outskirts of a small city in Catalunya (less than 10 000 inhabitants). This city is composed of an histoical core which can be qualified as vernacular : continuous fabric makes of attached houses on two levels and aligned on public space. Around this traditional core, a disparte fabric has developed, mainly composed of individual houses settled in the middle of the plots. The notion of street is reduced to the mere function of a communication axe. These infrastructures which link the villas, spread and transform the landscape without any coherence and relation to the site. In this environment, the project of 35 individual houses is being developed.
In the housing typologies, life is organised around two common spaces : the patio and the winter garden. The patio is really central and correspond to a space of introversion for the household. It is favourable to the inner interactions of the familiar cell and provides an ‘entre-soi’ feeling. The winter garden, oriented south, connects the individual to relation with the surrounding landscape. The set of houses creates a urban form that maintains a complex relationship with public space. From time to time the project lets the public sphere penetrate and sometimes it preserves the privacy of the inhabitants, reinvesting the dialog and enriching the street. The addition or the removal of a life module into the band of housing gives the rhythm of the façades and opens diated spaces in the center of the bloc. These are spaces to share by the neighbours that are connected to the street. In a low density context, the project provides another way to interact and tries to generate a smooth urbanity.
The project develops, in a simultaneous way, a proper vision of the living and the way of practicing an ‘urban’ bloc on the fringe of a small town.
> Plot area : 9100m² (130/70m) > 35 individual houses : 2 levels, patio, winter garden > Density : 38 units/acre
Situation - urban form -18-
Spaces sequences - Variations -19-
Housing unit -20-
General plan - system -21-
individualité urbaine living place / typology transposition / appropriation
How do we consider the will of individualisation, the need of ‘entre-soi’ – a decisive condition to space appropriation – and the necessary diversity for the awareness of others – main component of a sought urbanity ? This reflection on the living place is set up between a statement on the architectural and urban intervention unit : its scale, its program, its urban form. Working on Lyon’s territory as a research context, the place of the industrial harbour (Gerland) appeared very favourable for experimentations on developing a spatial apparatus that can answer the previous issues. Simultaneous reflections on the living place hava been motivated by multi scale issues.
A global structure organises the units. This spatial system rules the realationships between the units. Therefore the housings are stripes orientated South and parallel to the river. The units are connected by a network of passages and courtyards that have merely the same plan but differ depending on the height of the façades and the typological composition of the housings. This diversity comes from the variation of the thickness of the project which takes its shape from particular existing buildings on the site. With this system of courtyards and passages, the project interprets and transforms the practice and the use of the ‘traboules’ of Lyon without having the same function. It also reminds us the ‘Höfe’ which take place in very deep blocs of the Berlin urban fabric.
The micro-neighbourhoods are the constituent parts of the system : a serial of individual housings built around a common space composes the unit. Each housing has its own entrance from the courtyard - common space - and a terrace – the space managing the relation between the individual and the site. The entrance and the façade on the courtyard side act like a filter and let the inhabitants manifest their will to keep their privacy, or on the contrary let them exterorize. The courtyard is the pace for social negotaition. Without any influences on the way the inhabitants rule their relationships, the courtyard provides interactions. It is a field of possibles in term of social link.
With such a size (4,5 ha), the project needs to open onto the city. Its ground floor perimeter contains commercial lobbies, craftsmen workshops, activities... On th river side, the programming is more attractive and turned onto leisure. The project is cut out by three public lanes which open onto the river. This strong porosity of the project is a term for urbanity. The lanes are surrounded by hybrid typologies : Live and Work. Actually, it is an old form which corresponds to the urbanity of a faubourg area. Those lanes are also the accesses to the network of courtyards and passages. These are the dialog interfaces between the project and the city.
> individual housing – live & work – parking garages – veriety of activities > 380 housings / 4,5 ha – density : 85 housings/acre > parking garage in concrete super-structure – housings in wooden structure
Scale - urban impact -26-
Typology transposition -27-
Micro-neighbourhood - system -28-
Layer of housing units -29-
Micro-neighbourhoods+ L i v e & Wo r k
P u b li c la n e s
ActivitĂŠs + Parking garages
Programs layers -30-
Courtyard - social negotiation place -31-
Typology variety -33-
Promenade - river front -35-
through the machine senory experience / poetics of impure city
The city, a reflection of the human being assumed and endured at the same time, is composed of elements which are more or less noble. This statement, acquired from the Bourgeois vision of the 19th century and taken account once more by the hygienist thought of the Modernists, does not make the distinction, in the following work, between working class areas and rich areas or peripheries and centres. This video work is about the rejected and hidden areas which embody the motor function of the city. Those infra structural organs are nevertheless the means set up by the human being to live the city. And Barcelona is a good example because they do import by sea hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of drinking water to serve its 4,5 million inhabitants.
The industrial harbour, pretty well hidden behind the Mont Juic hill, is paradoxically emphasised when it is seen from the Ciutadela. This castle, on top of the hill, offers an incredible view on the seaside and henances the harbour de facto. The show is as beautiful from this platform as the port area is really difficult to reach despite the strong attraction it generates. Through the contemplation of this landscape from an external point of view, it is easy to be transported and to travel the matter like in a day dream. The harbour seems to be a true hive of activity seen from up there, but the inner emptiness and the striking absence characterise the place.
Confronted to different characters, he is always a little distant. Sometimes afraid, he seems to dare...
> serial of stop motion sequences + sepia sequences inside the harbour > short film presented to La CitĂŠ du Temps, Geneva
la nuit je mens light installations / urbain event
The project ‘La Nuit je Mens’ is the last project set up by the architect collectif team ESMOUDUBOU. Through the cultural event ‘La Fête des Lumières’ and starting from the competition won in 2005, ESMOUDUBOU has proposed a serial of interactive installations during five years. These installations realised in collaboration with ‘Le Théâtre de Lune’, are developed considering the festive spirit of this specific event of Lyon. The idea is to create urban events capable of awaking the curiosity and the surprise unlike the big and ostentatious animations where the passive audience is gathered in a kind of open air cinema. Our intention is to stimulate the interaction
between the individuals through the discovery of the urban oddity of the Croix-Rousse area. Passages, ‘traboules’, stairs, courtyards and little streets shape and feature this former textile industrial area. Thanks to the magic and the joy brought by this event, these unusual places are revealed in their true nature. ‘La Nuit je Mens’ is born from the desire to invite the neighbourhood to share a ‘drink of light’. The installation took place in the rehearsal room of the ‘Théâtre de Lune’. It became, during one night, the place for the stunned locals to meet with astonished pedestrians.
> ESMOUDUBOU : Laurent ESmilaire, Alexandre MOUlin, Mathilde DUtilleul, Marine BOUhin > La nuit je mens : ESMOUDUBOU + Anthony Joyeux > Cost Price : 1000 E
maison pour la famille B. architectural path / construction / form
The project for the family B. is situated in the Vercors (situated in the french Alpes). Through the leafed forest of the low part of the mountains, a little path leads to a clearing which surrounds a valley.
constraint for a project in the mountain. The programatic repartition and the openings go together with this thermal logic. The northern façade is almost blind, the southern façade is highly opened to receive the sun energy.
In their home, the clients want a life space highly connected to the nearby nature. This space must be composed of different levels in order to enjoy a vertical continuity of space which would characterise the house. Therefore, the project of three levels of 60 m² is articulated around a serial of common spaces which includes a peripheral circulation. The main conception work was to set up an architectural path in the simple volume of the house, considering the suspending space of the mezzanine, the vertical circulation system and the openings.
One the second hand, this simple volume is rather easy to build. A wooden structure allowed a dry construction (put aside the foundations), a quick implementation, and a very little weather constraints unlike a concrete structure.
The house is a svelte parrallelepiped of which footprint is quite small. This simple geometry makes the project interesting in different ways. On the one hand, its compactness offers a good resistance to the cold – essential
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This pure shape is transformed by the addition of a typical two sides roof. It gives the project an archetypal appearance of a mountain house without diminishing the project as a chalet cliché. Moreover, chalets are not present in this part of the Alpes. The façade is tiled with vertical and narrow wooden boards. It can refer to a palisade which gives the project an unity which goes together with its fundamental shape.
Collaboration with David Demange Architecte PRO – DCE (last phases of development) Area : 160m² Cost : 220 000 E
Spatial organisation - path -46-
mosquée Errahama islamic ritual / old urban fabric / signification
The project of the mosque Errahama (a cultural as well as a cult center) is a composition which reconciles the program of the Islamic ritual and the urban fabric constraints. The Songieu street is part of a long and narrow streets network. Orientated to South, they irrigate the old urban fabric of Villeurbanne. It is mainly composed of town-houses and sometimes welcomes littles activities and local equipments.
The first phase of reflection was to understand quite well the program : a serial of programs dedicated to the religious education and the Islamic ritual (the believers turned to the Imam and orientated South-East in order to face Mecca, the first step of the ablutions before the prayer, the separation male/ female). Concerning the ritual itself, the seemingly
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strict rules of the religious practice had to be discussed and clarified because of a certain divergence between the clients. From the obvious contradiction between the orientation of the urban fabric (SouthNorth) and the South-East orientation of the mosque, is born the morphological concept of the building. It offers a coherent urban insertion and provide an ideal place for the Islamic ritual. The plan composition acts in harmony with the reflexion on how to let the light penetrate in the project and the question of the religious signification. In some parts, the façade bends and turns over which creates orientated openings. This first order directly participates to the religious signification of the project. On the ground floor, two recesses indicate the principal entrances. Another recess, vertical, takes in account the ful height of the building to indicate its exceptional nature. It is an implicit transcription of the minaret.
Collaboration with Pascal Fosse Architecte Building licence Programs : mosque, class rooms, refectory Area : 500m²
salle de prière mezzanine
vide sur prière
loge de l’Imam
salle de prière
Spatial configuration - order -50-
Openings - light - signification -51-
Alexandre Moulin 20 rue des Amiraux 75018 Paris 00 33 (0)6 50 72 26 71 email@example.com