The democratization of the skyline - Grenoble - France

In late 2011, we returned to Grenoble, home to our previous project in the urban regeneration zone of Bonne, "Coming Out". This new project combines the same desire for environmental experimentation and energy performance while reaching to new heights. 

In an attempt to definitively end the question of thermal bridging, balconies were removed entirely.

So, the question became, how can we offer the relationship to the exterior that inhabitants need in a city with summer and winter climates that are a bit extreme? Also, how can we break the distinction between “noble” and lower floors?

To solve these questions, both ecological and social, we felt it necessary to separate the "balcony" from the "house" and to stack several levels of balconies on top of the building. This is the green cloud. But not just any balconies— these are spaces of 35 square meters, rooms in the sky that are reached by elevator and have a summer kitchen with sanitary facilities.

When the summer heat becomes oppressive, these terraces allow the inhabitants to breathe and relax in front of the incredible view of the nearby mountain range. It is neither a simple extension nor a neglected space. Rather, it is a new kind of space that is beyond the ordinary and can be sold separately as a kind of second home.

Below, each apartment has views on multiple sides of the building. The living rooms are positioned at the corners and are provided with full height openings that act as balconies for mid-season days.

The project also extends into the heart of the city-block, which also contains a bit of "madness": a small alpine chalet housing alternative programs (BBQ, summer kitchen collective, apartment for friends etc..). This scattering of functions injects a unique landscape and contextuality into an urban area that is still in the making.


PROGRAM 1 towers with 42 units of housing, terraces and retail 




Area 3 300 M² Net Floor Area Budget 4,3 M € Schedule Competition 2011, BUILDING PERMIT 2014, Delivery 2018


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Cambridge sector

ZAC Presqu'île

38000 Grenoble, Isère