A group of council high-rises and small towers ranging from seven to sixteen storeys signed by Auzolle and Zavaroni, the Luth neighbourhood in Gennevilliers is typical of the major residential projects of the period extending from the 50s to the 70s. Delivered in 1978, it is considered a social success and is now being restructured. We were tasked with demolishing and then rebuilding the shopping centre located at the heart of the neighbourhood, transforming it into a series of stores at the foot of a new condominium.
Thus, the mixed urban approach is not necessarily heroic… It is also based on old, commonly applied practices. Located on the avenue du Luth, the building, which includes 69 luxury apartments, is structured in a traditional manner. The ground floor hosts local shops and provides the neighbourhood, whose buildings are uniformly white, with a splash of colour deriving from a varied palette of materials. It also serves as the neighbourhood’s shopping centre, which enables it to stand out, but in a manner that is, in the end, discrete compared to its spectacular neighbour, the Aimé-Césaire cultural and social centre, designed by Rudy Ricciotti.
The vertical nature of the little Luth building is highlighted by alternating bands of different materials on the facade. It features coloured coatings, zinc sheets with standing seams, and elements recalling the surrounding use of the colour white. The facade is punctuated by large bow-windows of a contemporary character which form cantilevered boxes along the built row.
The shops around the base of the building are protected by a peripheral glass awning. These local stores include a small supermarket, a brasserie, a pharmacy, and a few additional retail outlets.