Hamonic + Masson & Associates was founded in 1997and has been intervening in all sectors including housing, public facilities, retail, offices, infrastructure, and urban design in France and internationally, since. It was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe prize in 2001, and in 2002 was awarded the Nouveaux Albums de la Jeune Architecture (NAJA) and is recently participating in the debate on the height that has become such a hot topic throughout France.
The firm became recognized in 2003 by designing the Maison Métal in Paris’ Parc de la Villette. It was an event that placed Hamonic + Masson at the crossroads of art and architecture, a flexible place that allows for some adventurous undertakings.
The studio has completed projects across France and has participated in discussions regarding the future of urban living in the French capital.
Below is the list of their 15 such Projects:
1. Elementary School, Paris’ 9th arrondissement
Year: March 2009
Location: Paris, France
The most interesting part of the project is how the character of the neighborhood was created due to tall buildings made of stone and plaster with occasional opaque-glass openings which pose a major scale issue that led to the conception of a horizontal, layered landscape. Apart from that to distract the users from the boredom of a stereotypical multi-storeyed building, interesting routes are created by the serpentine leading to the central open area feeding light throughout the pathway. Reflective under-surfaces and silkscreen-printed green glass in various shades of green complement the big playground and help to achieve a certain harmony along with playfulness.
2. Rue d’Aubervilliers, Paris XIX
Type: Residential + Offices
Year: April 2015
Location: Paris, France
This project specifically stands out with a monochromatic look built in response to the surrounding landscape on crossroads. The entrance to the building attracts the users by trying to maintain a continuity of the public street in the interiors of the lobby. The contemporary design along with the simplistic choice of materials of white-varnished brick makes the building emerge subtle, sober and complying with the surrounding context while also contrasting from the typical Parisian housing neighborhood. The varying silhouette of the building creates a unique and lively sense on the skyline carving out diverse interesting spaces and views for both inhabitants and neighbors.
3. Docks Dombasles, Le Havre
Type: Residential + Offices
Year: April 2009
Location: Havre, France
A mixed-use project located along the industrial quayside faced many challenges like the site being dominated by horizontal elements of the bay and remains of a wrecked warehouse. Its honeycomb shape was the inspiration for the design of the housing units along the water making it appear like a seaside resort. The contemporary design of the facades creates a distinction but concurs well with the neighborhood. The landscape has been designed complimenting the site features and constraints, using the water to its full potential. Local craftsmanship for the materials used like prefabricated concrete and metal frames gives the entire project a very ‘raw’ outlook maintaining harmony with the ‘docks’.
4. Le Millénium
The project is all about creating an area for a city living within a loose urban fabric with lots of available space. A communal structure wound around a planted courtyard garden consisting of apartments overlooking the central garden from the outdoor terraces, taking inspiration from the tall urban forms around the site. It is a very unusual shape as the wide range of typologies are highlighted by different layers of the building. The residential base combines half-buried parking spaces, modern split-level family flats with separate entrances, and halls arranged around a central patio. The smooth metal-clad corona houses the majority of the various kinds of flats.
5. Urban Quartz
Location: ZAC EuroRennes
“Urban Quartz” is an office program divided into three buildings, linked together by overhead walkways. Designed to fit perfectly into its urban environment, Urban Quartz contributes to the development of the new EuroRennes business district. This unusual script proposes an alternative, ample and lively interpretation of the office program. This project was designed using flexible technological approaches, a choice of versatile materials, and an architectural design appropriate to the context.
Facades sculpted to form an angular structure that plays with light and transparency gives the appearance of bridges in the air. The sharp edges of the three volumes create a break between each structure, like a canyon where urban space infiltrates down into the heart of the block to reveal a panoramic view of the wild garden. The building stands out with its unique and elegant character.
6. Urban Dock
Location: Bordeaux, France
The building deen designed to respond to its waterfront setting. “The building synthesizes the city’s different aspirations, and forms a tangible link between public space and this particular lot’s private space.” Its contemporary architectural style is reflected in its harmonious sobriety. Located in a port zone, the project has a monolithic element running throughout it that echoes the spirit of the docks.
The project is solid, compact and metal-clad. The single vertically protruding element is a nine-storey building that juts upwards like a periscope, referencing the plot’s nautical history. That is what the project is all about: putting together a serene skyline and creating an urban form similar to a village at ground level, with footpaths to maintain a feeling of wilderness. The project’s general form, and its choice of material and color, also contribute towards a maritime feeling.
7. The Marne departmental Archives annexe
Considering the size and the impact on the site, the project can be read in several ways, depending on distance or nearness to the building, and it allows the discovery of many different elements and feelings as one walks through. Located on a gentle slope, the building stands in such a way that does not spoil or overload the setting. It’s a line that we see from the background. Visitors take a path that gradually gives way to the access ramp. The reception area is an intermediary space, before opening onto the inner garden. The entrance demonstrates the building’s functional organization that we see through the transparent patio. The entire building is in an ochre, bronze tint that reflects the colors of the land in the building’s location: the Marne region.
8. Student residence Triolet II
Year: Under construction
This student residence at Triolet University is a rare combination of purpose and spatial planning, where students can interact and express their thoughts while at the same – holding human relations to the forefront. The design of the housing is the integration of physiological and psychological factors to make the student a part of the whole.
From now on, all a student wants is a machine and a link to the internet, and so design focuses more on socializing and sharing. As far as curious, imaginative, and altruistic individuals are concerned, the perfect student room does not fit into the design, as they conclude that “the idea is not found in the room, but outside.”
9. Golden Cube
The 8-storey building consists of 156 student housing almost covers the entire plot. The project coordinators, Loci Anima, decided to reintroduce some biodiversity to the island and so the hidden greenhouse was constructed.
The 1.5 meters recessed allowed them to create loggias that covered the entire façade. While the shape of the building is obscured with the use of filters, water effect, and perforated steel panels. It’s even lined with birdhouses where inhabitants can not interfere and are maintenance-free.
10. Bâtiment Home
Location: Paris XIII
Paris remains a center of innovation and bears the ideals of modernity and thus it came up as a challenge to build a vertical tower in this urban environment and so they thought of creating a space caring for the values of optimism and sharing. As they believed “We must look to the past in order to move forward today and to seize the future with ambition”. This 50 meters long vertical tower comprises 96 apartments, 92 social housing, shops, and a car parking.
Taking into account the particulars of this context, the project aims to connect two territories: the center of Paris and ‘Grand Paris and contributing to the rich skyline of the city.
11. Marlène Jobert nursery school
The pine trees at the northwest corner of this site form a doorway to the site. The pine groves give way to a series of patios, lawns, green roofs, pines, other trees, and plant-covered partitions that create a transitional landscape. The building itself is located in two layers of the forest, one indoor, the other outdoor.
As to camouflage the building with the surrounding, reflective annealed stainless steel is used and the planning and material give children and the guests an ‘educational’ experience based on the five senses and using the natural light.
Location: Paris XII
The site for this project was dominated by residential flats and thus to pop something new out of the surrounding, the designer decided to invent something new to counter these solid blocks and unflinching walls.
The project consists of two blocks (one 7 storeys above the ground floor, the other 11 storeys) on different sites intertwined with community space in between. The weight-bearing facade was created with the twisting floor plates and the edges were erased using a combination of various materials and reflections. Where the meshing and colored glass surfaces create a nice sense of anonymity when viewed from inside. The layout has a central core that holds the structural flow and serves lifts, stairs, and a large living room that retains the versatility of the future and, if necessary, making it possible to recycle the space.
13. 74 apartments
Location: Chilly Mazarin
The site carries various constraints including visual, acoustic, and spatial barriers. This unsuitable site for housing was approved after the housing crisis. The fair compromise between the built and the open was the original concept that accompanied the whole design, forming its own landscape.
These 74 apartments have 14 staircases where every landing served two apartments. In order to maintain privacy, vegetation plays its role. The homely character of the design encourages the familiar living with the neighbors too in an open atmosphere.
14. ‘White’ building
Location: Lyon II
It is an urban and domestic building consisting of 125 temporary house units, 27 social house units, shops, and offices. The building is shaped based on the space and time analysis of people living and using this space. It is an overall result of the hybridization of urban context and its goal. The building is characterized by human interaction and encounter. It maintains a healthy distance – polished without being offensive, excellent without being noticeable.