18_Aldric Beckmann Architectes | Unik Apartments



Project title: Unik apartments

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The project has been submitted by:

Aldric Beckmann


Country: France

City: Boulogne-Billancourt

Address: Macro lot AA – ZAC Seguin Rives de Seine


Designer or design team architects:
Aldric Beckmann Architectes


Plot area – Superficie lotto: mq 4.150

Gross Area – Superficie lorda totale: mq 15.618

Of which
residential – Di cui Residenziale:
% 90

Public/communal areas – Spazi collettivi/comuni: % 10

Facilities for the public – Attrezzature pubbliche: % 0

Business/trade – Commerciale: % 0

Offices – Uffici: % 0

Number of residential units – Numero di alloggi: 159

Typology of users – Tipologia di utenti: Families – Famiglie
Other – Altro

Total building costs Euros – Costo di costruzione totale in Euro: € 38.000.000

Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area – Costo di costruzione = Costo di costruzione totale /Superficie lorda totale: 2.433 €/mq

Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area – Densità = Superficie lorda totale /Superficie lotto: 3,76

Work started on date – Data inizio lavori: Monday, 27th May 2013

Work completion date – Data ultimazione lavori: Thursday, 14th January 2016



Allotment rule – Regola di assegnazione: 12% social housing and 88% private in accession

Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value – Percentuale di riduzione di costo rispetto al valore di mercato: 

assignement %: state funds for credit

rent %: reduced rents


The cost of construction is 2433 euros per square meter, this cost is superior to the average value because the project have a planted courtyard, generous balconies with planters, and accessible rooftops.

Rental/sale cost compared to market price
Costo di affitto/ vendita rispetto al mercato:

The social housing benefits state financial help, meaning the price of location is 2 to 3 times less than the market. The private apartments also benefict the state’s help, because the landlords have a 0% and long term credit.

Rules of allocation – Regole di assegnazione:
The building propose a large number of social housing, which have reduced rent with state financial help.

Protection of fragile categories
Tutela categorie fragili:
The project has housing for people with LIS illness. The association ALIS proposes, for twenty patients, to benefit personnal bedrooms, physiotherapy and ergotherapy treatment rooms with the most up to the minute communication technologies, and a specially adapted restaurant and a garden.

Involvement of inhabitants in the building process – Coinvolgimento degli abitanti nel processo:  The inhabitants are always consulted during the writing of the local urbanism reglementation in the city. The association ALIS also participated in the conception of its space.

Community accompaniment in the life of the building – Accompagnamento della comunità nella vita dell’edificio: 
The building is a coproperty.

Functional mixitè – Mix funzionale

The project includes the association ALIS, and a private company of construction, in its ground floor. The communicate to housing with an access on the courtyard, designed for social interactions.

Common spaces and shared living – Spazi comuni e abitare condiviso:
The project promotes social life through different spaces: The courtyard connecting all the vertical distribution, generous hallway and stairs, accessible rooftops, and private balconies that allow residents to see and exchange.

Techniques and strategies for environmental saving: 
The project has the certification H&E RT 2012 and BBC Effinergie, with double glazed windows and insulation. All apartments have a window oriented south, and balconies for shading. The vegetaion is everywhere, in the ground, façade and roof. A quarter of roofs have solar panels.

Description of the project:

The river Seine and the new Billancourt park provide a permanent spectacle: UNIK emphasises generous views, planted terraces and balconies for every apartment, as well as its participation in the first European residential home offering facilities specifically designed for people living with “Locked-in Syndrome”.


After almost two and a half years of construction work, Beckmann-N’Thépé (B/NT) has delivered a residential group of properties to Boulogne, called “UNIK”. The first residents have already moved into this living artwork, which is designed to be in natural continuity with the park. Thanks to its ribboned urban form, its visual rifts and the garden which runs through it, the project is in constant dialogue with its surroundings, creating a contemporary signature through its use of white concrete and a ribbon of coloured glass. The composition of the facades is inspired by the visual spectacle of the Billancourt park and the river: a mosaic cladding reflects the landscape that surrounds it in its choice of colours, and modules in white concrete form balconies and walkways with a line of generous openings that punctuate the verticality of the volumes. This grouping of different elements means that each apartment is unique.


Day after day the luxuriant and abundant vegetation takes root. The park continues not only through the central garden but also on the buildings’ facades, all the up to the rooftop terraces, giving a distinctive identity to the whole development and transforming these spaces into a framework for plants and bushes. The general sense of vegetation blurs into the distance, enabling the residents to “keep their heads in the clouds”.


This richness and this diversity is mirrored in the design of the apartments, where a variety of different layouts offer a response to different lifestyles corresponding to the demands of different generations. Another important element of this unusual project is the integration of a residential home – the first in Europe – for people living with “Locked-in Syndrome”.

The Maison Perce-Neige is at the heart of the development, run by the organisation ALIS. The fruit of a partnership between AP-HP, the organisations Perce-Neige and ALIS, and the Boulogne-Billancourt council, this residential home will allow up to twenty patients living with LIS to benefit from their own bedrooms, physiotherapy and ergotherapy treatment rooms equipped with the most up to the minute communication technologies, a specially adapted restaurant and a garden. This is the first such home in Europe and it represents a remarkable achievement for ALIS, founded in 1997 by Jean-Dominique Bauby, former editor of Elle magazine, who suffered from LIS. He brought the attention of the wider public to this relatively rare syndrome in his book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which he dictated by blinking his eye. The organisation offers psychological support and technical and financial information and advice to people suffering from LIS as well as to their families. Residents of the home will be able to lead as normal a life as possible, thanks to apartments specially-designed to accommodate their special requirements.