Hamonic + Masson and Associes were founded in 1997 by Gaelle Hamonic and Jean-Christophe Masson, and Marie-Agnes de Bailliencourt made partner in 2013. The firm has projects throughout France; they, however, became known by popular media after the construction of Maison metal at Parc de la Villette. The firm is also known for constructing 62 social housing units in Paris’ 12 arrondissements. 

Hamonic + Masson and Associes actively participate in the height debate, a hot topic in France. Paris has traditionally evaded the construction of tall buildings, especially since the construction of Paris’ Tour Montparnasse in 1973 caused a public outcry and led to the passing of the bill that capped building heights in Paris to a maximum of 37 meters in 1977. The hesitance is largely motivated by the fear of a lack of city identity. However, the commercial drive and fear of becoming obsolete in the world real estate market have pushed for revisiting the laws.  As of the 50s, the tall buildings have been quarantined to the la defence area; these buildings are, however, visible from large sections of the city. After law reform, residential can reach 50m, and commercial buildings can theoretically extend to 180m, or twice as high as the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Mr Nouvel lamented the status quo in Paris. ’ There is this obsession in France that new architecture should not stand out, ‘He was quoted as saying in the Independent London.’ This causes a problem for towers, which must be visible and proud of themselves.’

In 2015, the practice completed and delivered Paris’s first housing project measuring 50m since the 1970s in the city Massena district. They also created the framework for the grand Paris Scheme in the proposition of the Avenue Foch, which the Paris City Hall backed during Anne Hidalgo’s 2014 bid for mayor in Paris. Gaelle Hamonic and Jean Christophe Masson were founding members of the French Touch, pushing for the theme of French Architecture. La French Touch connects a community of daring entrepreneurs around a shared philosophy of promoting cultural and creative industries. France’s cultural and creative industries are key sectors essential to the economy and international reputation. 

Hamonic + Masson and Associates are invited to various international consultations and conferences to bring their expertise to living well in height and new ways of living in changing cities.

Les Hauts De Sevigne.

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Name:                Les Hauts De Sévigné
Location:          Cesson- Sevigne
Project:             Luxury Apartments
Style:                 Modernist
Materiality:      Reinforced Concrete.  Metal Cladding

The project is part of the urban continuity of the boulevard and the park’s landscaping. The building is a mass of curves that flow out of the site and contrast with the strict lines in the neighbourhood.

The inspiration of the building is to offer each unit an authentic outdoor experience through its extended balconies that act as an interior extension.

Douai Courthouse 

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Douai Courthouse, Hamonic+masson and associes, _© https://www.hamonic-masson.com/local/cache-vignettes/L765xH510/08_palais_de_justice_douai-d302c.jpg

Name:               Douai Courthouse
Location:          Douai, 69
Project:             Restructuring and extension of the Douai Palace of Justice housing the jurisdictions of the Court of Appeal and the High Court
Style:                 Modernist
Materiality:     Stainless steel, Prefabricated Concrete

The project was challenging because they were tasked with reading the site’s identity and creating a building that blended seamlessly with the site without overpowering the main building. The building is a contrast in that the ground floor, made of prefabricated concrete, serves as an anchor for the above floor, which is covered by a stainless steel façade that lends light to the extension. 

The building is at a crossroads that exposes itself to the city’s different faces that lend to its identity. A point of contact with the public as the building seemingly lowers itself to meet those seeking justice.

Ateliers Vaugirard, lot A, Paris

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Ateliers Vaugirard, Hamonic+masson and associes, _© http://www.hamonic-masson.com/local/cache-vignettes/L672xH510/01_vaugriard_luxigon-13a9c.jpg

Name:             Ateliers Vaugirard
Location:        lot A, Paris XV, 75.
Project:           Construction of 96 apartments + retail + crèche
Style:               Modernist
Materiality:    Stainless steel, Prefabricated Concrete, Glass

The building is a composition of green terraces reminiscent of the hanging gardens of Babylon. The building’s linear façade spans 130m of the road length that runs parallel to the site. This layout and the transparent nature of the ground floor seem to invite people from the street into the building using different entrances. 

They have provided diversity within the collective by creating multiple exterior spaces and apartments with various typologies. There are 37 different typologies for 96 apartments creating a sense of ownership for the individuals stemming from the uniqueness of the spaces. Facing the south, the building poses itself to receive a maximum amount of sunlight into the site. The sunlight, paired with spacious terraces, creates optimum conditions for the growth of gardens.

Student residence Triolet II, Montpellier

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Student Residence Triolet II, Montpellier, _© https://www.hamonic-masson.com/local/cache-vignettes/L358xH510/005_takuji_shimmura-915f5.jpg

Name:               Student residence Triolet II
Location:         Montpellier, 34. Avenue Augustin Fliche, Montpellier.
Project:            315 halls of residence + student services + offices
Style:                Brutalist
Materiality:     Stainless steel, Prefabricated Concrete, Glass

The design of the building took second place in the functionality of the space. The spaces were optimised to create optimum environments to work and study. The three buildings are created independently from each other but are united by the ground floor composed of shared student amenities. This floor combines the students and the residence, creates a space for smaller communities to connect and offers a sense of identity and individuality. This building creates a balance between spatial performance and functionality.

Le Millénium, Rennes

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Le Millenium,Rennes, Hamonic+masson and associes, _© https://www.hamonic-masson.com/local/cache-vignettes/L769xH510/006_bh7-241fa.jpg

Name:             Le Millennium
Location:        ZAC La Courrouze, Rennes, 35
Project:         Construction of 120 apartments
Style:            Modernist
Materiality:     Prefabricated Concrete, Metal cladding

The building is wrapped around a central courtyard offering the apartment’s inhabitants views inward and outward and a sense of community. The building offers different typologies combining half-buried parking spaces, modern split-level family flats with separate entrances, and halls arranged around a central patio. The houses have enclosed verandas that appear as windowless peeks into the home. 

Villiot-Rapée Apartments

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Villiot-Rapee Apartments , Hamonic+masson and associes, _© https://www.hamonic-masson.com/local/cache-vignettes/L341xH510/03_villiot-35134.jpg

Name:             Le Millennium
Location:        ZAC La Courrouze, Rennes, 35
Year:               2011
Project:         Social Housing
Style:            Modernist
Materiality:     Prefabricated Concrete, Metal cladding, Glass
Area:            150,000m2 

The social housing project involves two blocks of flats; one is 11 stories and the other eight stories high. The buildings stand out because of their colourful and unique façade, a medley of glass, steel, and concrete. Despite their colourful nature, the buildings are not seen fully from a distance but as glimpses between buildings in the immediate area. The two buildings are elevated from the ground, and at the base, looking up, the buildings seem to flow into each other at different angles. 

The terraces wrap around the different floors at different angles, making the experience for every individual different and unique. These terraces are linked to different parts of the houses and act like an external hallway. It’s expected that there would be reduced privacy due to the expanse of the terraces. However, the terraces are staggered. Therefore, people on different floors can’t see each other, also those in opposite buildings, as the facades include screen walls and balustrades to maintain privacy across buildings.

Oasis 18″, Zhengzhou, China

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Oasis 18’’, Zhengzhou in China, Hamonic+masson and associes, _©https://www.hamonic-masson.com/IMG/jpg/pedestrian_03.jpg

Name:             Le Millennium
Location:        Zhengzhou in, China.
Year:               ln study
Project:         City Planning, 900 homes + parking + kindergarten + clubhouse
Style:            Modernist
Materiality:    Prefabricated Concrete, Metal cladding, Glass
Area:            150,000m2 

The project is called “Oasis 18” and is a part of the urban expansion of the J18 site led by The Oval Urban Forecasting Partnership. Adjacent to it will stand a museum designed by Tadao Ando, an art park intended by MAD architects. Nendo will create the Canyon Center, and the Department of Architecture will design the Taste 18 shop and Tsutaya Books. 

Elements from the Chinese pagoda inspire the building. These elements include hierarchy and repetitive columns that offer elegance and transparency to the site. The site is a fusion of different styles and uses that offer multiple opportunities for interaction. The site is largely vegetated, and patches of green offer pockets of relief in the dense concrete jungle. 

Imagine Angers / MÉTAMORPHOSE

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Imagine Angers Metamorphose, Hamonic+masson and associes, _©https://archello.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/images/2018/04/10/HM-ANGERS-AERIENNE-NUIT-03.1523356344.0655.jpg

Name:             Imagine Angers
Location:        Site Quai Saint-Serge, Angers, 49.
Year:               ln study
Project:          Co-living, climbing wall, sports centre and gym, offices, restaurant + parking
Style:             Modernist
Materiality:    Prefabricated Concrete, Stainless steel, Glass
Area:             24600m2 

This project proposal aims to capture the city’s ambition and innovation that drives the development of the city. The research program sought spatial and technological solutions for the urban landscape. The proposal aims to create a new way of life for the people of Anger. The building integrates into the site to the extent that it matches the topography. The people, therefore, can flow into and out of the site. The building, therefore, becomes emotionally and physically part of the community of Anger. The building is a metamorphosis, a transformation of the past through research and experimentation.

ZAC Bassins à Flot / Hamonic + Masson & Associés

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Name:             ZAC Bassins À Flot
Location:        Bordeaux, France
Year:               2015
Project:          RefurbishmentResidential
Style:             Modernist
Materiality:    Prefabricated Concrete, Stainless Steel Cladding, Glass
Area:             4065m2 

The Bassins a flots are a 162-ha niche site, a high-quality port, and a manufacturing district where Bordeaux City Council has development plans. Nicolas Michelin’s instructions were to create a building that read from the surrounding whose theme is warehousing, factory production, and strong industrial history. The project aimed to put together a serene skyline with the open sea as the backdrop that it is projected into. The building is a consolidation of the aspirations of the dock, and with advancement in technology, it offers a new identity that of an urban dock. The building offers different views and perspectives for the inhabitants as the building heights are staggered, towered by a section 9 stories high that have expansive views into the horizon. 

New’R, Zac Euronantes.

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Name:             New’R, Zac Euronantes
Location:        Nantes, France
Year:              2015
Project:          Residential
Style:             Modernist
Materiality:    Prefabricated Concrete, Stainless Steel Cladding, Glass
Area:             4065m2 

The building is dominated by terraces that hold gardens, greenhouses, and places for relaxing. The design encourages interaction between the people living there by providing common places on the rooftops for exercise and relaxation, fostering a spirit of community. The gentle curving of the building guides the eyes over the panoramic views framed by the floor-to-ceiling windows. The wide terraces sheltered by the overlapping floors create the experience of being outside while still being shielded from the elements. The space is used to rest and as small intimate gardens for the apartments. 

References:

  1. “62 Council Flats – Villiot-Râpée Paris 12.” Architizer, 24 July 2013, https://architizer.com/projects/62-council-flats-villiot-rapee-paris-12/. 
  2. “Ateliers Vaugirard, Lot A, Paris.” Ateliers Vaugirard, Lot A, Paris – Ateliers Vaugirard, Lot A, Paris XV – Hamonic + Masson & Associés, http://www.hamonic-masson.com/Ateliers-Vaugirard-lot-A-204?lang=en. 
  3. “Courthouse Extension in Douai, France: Hamonic+Masson & Associés.” Archello, https://archello.com/nl/project/courthouse-extension-in-douai-france. 
  4. Editors, Author: Architizer. “Home // Hamonic+Masson & Associés – Architizer Journal.” Journal, 31 May 2022, https://architizer.com/blog/projects/home-17/. 
  5. “Hamonic+Masson & Associés.” Archello, https://archello.com/brand/hamonicmasson-associes
  6. “Imagine Angers / Métamorphose.” Imagine Angers / MÉTAMORPHOSE – Site Quai Saint-Serge, Angers – Hamonic + Masson & Associés, https://www.hamonic-masson.com/Imagine-Angers-METAMORPHOSE?lang=en. 
  7. Jessica Mairs |7 May 2015 16 comments. “Tallest Parisian Housing Block in 40 Years Completed.” Dezeen, 4 Feb. 2022, https://www.dezeen.com/2015/05/07/gold-silver-aluminium-tallest-housing-block-40-years-hamonic-masson-comte-vollenweider-paris-france/. 
  8. Jett, Megan. “Villiot-Rapée Apartments / Hamonic + Masson.” ArchDaily, ArchDaily, 17 Oct. 2011, https://www.archdaily.com/175882/villiot-rapee-apartments-hamonic-masson. 
  9. “Les Hauts De Sévigné, Cesson-Sévigné.” Les Hauts De Sévigné, Cesson-Sévigné – Les Hauts De Sévigné, Lots E10 + E11, Cesson-Sévigné – Hamonic + Masson & Associés, https://www.hamonic-masson.com/Les-Hauts-de-Sevigne-Cesson-Sevigne?lang=fr. 
  10. Natasha Lyons |10 December 2009 8 comments. “Docks Dombasles by Hamonic + Masson.” Dezeen, 10 Mar. 2021, https://www.dezeen.com/2009/12/10/docks-dombasles-by-hamonic-masson/. 
  11. “New’r, Zac Euronantes: Hamonic+Masson & Associés Architects.” Arch2O.Com, 30 Nov. 2021, https://www.arch2o.com/newr-zac-euronantes-gare-harmonic-masson-associes/. 
  12. ‘Oasis 18’, Zhengzhou En China.” “Oasis 18”, Zhengzhou En China – Zhengzhou in China – Hamonic + Masson & Associés, https://www.hamonic-masson.com/Oasis-18-Zhengzhou-en-China?lang=fr. 
  13. Sagredo, Rayen. “New’R / Hamonic + Masson & Associés.” ArchDaily, ArchDaily, 19 June 2017, https://www.archdaily.com/873854/newr-hamonic-plus-masson-and-associes. 
  14. “Villiot-Rapée: Hamonic+Masson & Associés.” Archello, https://archello.com/project/villiot-rapee. 
  15. “Wavy – Cesson-Sévigné.” Socramat, https://www.socramatfabrication.fr/references/wavy-cesson-sevigne. 
Author

An avid reader with an interest in social justice and architecture. Having grown up with an interest in art, she expressed herself through drawings and paintings and later architecture as an additional medium of expression. She believes architecture can aid is solving multiple social issues through careful planning and design.

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