Apartment building, university plot, Carouge
Location Carouge, Switzerland
Date 2015

Open competition, 7th prize

Gross floor area 55'000 m²

Grégoire Martin
Julien Charmion-Henry
Candela de la Macorra
Gabriela Pratas

On a regional level, the project creates a new urban element that resonates with the two new districts under construction within a one kilometre radius: La Fontenette and La Chapelle-Les Sciers. Through its urban morphology, this project for the Pinchat plateau aims to distribute the 55,000 m2 of new buildings as subtly as possible within the natural and built environment. The idea here is to create compact units that free up as much land and as large a public space as possible.

This area of Geneva has an eclectic mix of building shapes. In this project, the site has interspersed, compact constructions radiating around a spacious central void. This central space is the project’s DNA. It expresses what the site is now, a cultivated field, a large empty space in the collective memory of Pinchat’s inhabitants. This void also alludes to the other adjacent ones formed by the large fields that bring green space into the city centre.

Public space is a key issue, especially in the city. It is interesting to wonder whether it is also important in a suburban site such as the Pinchat plateau. The answer is clearly yes! On analysis of the plots, it becomes evident that, though the site has a great deal of plant cover, public space is scarce because the land is almost exclusively occupied by individual houses or cultivated fields. The project proposes to free up ample public space in the heart of the new district thus created.

The project proposes a set of compact apartment blocks radiating around the site rather than arranged in rows. The compactness of these constructions limits the wall effect, ensures a certain level of permeability and provides a radiating arrangement that creates links with the houses. They offer the required density and echo the dimensions of the apartment blocks on the adjacent plot.