Reinventing Paris with wood and legacy: the challenge of Bains-douches

Reinventing Paris with wood and legacy: the challenge of Bains-douches

Second project of the first edition of Reinventing Paris architecture competition, a building for coliving and coworking called “Bains-douches” located in Paris 15th arrondissement was inaugurated on January 15, 2020. Made of wood, it will welcome its first tenants at the end of January.

Those who are most dubious about the implementation of winning projects of the calls for innovative urban projects will be able to judge for themselves the completion of programmes. After “La Ferme du Rail” (19th) delivered at the end of 2019, it was the turn of “Bains-douches” on January 15.

Former public baths in Paris (15th) “Bains-douches” transformed into a coworking/coliving space.

The project has been inaugurated on January 15.

© JGP

Stakeholders did not hide their pride to have taken up this challenge on time (21 months) and on budget (8 million euros), highlighting in particular the performance achieved by the architects of Red and in particular Albin Rousseau. Rousseau, who described the construction of a high-rise building (R+8) in Paris as a “demonstrator”, was pleased to have built a “21st century building on a site that is as much a heritage site as it is complex”, and delivered a project “faithful to the original promises”.

With its wooden structure, green curtain and a small garden, the project is reviving a site that had been abandoned for years while preserving the heritage, including the concrete structure of the red building.

Albin Rousseau, the architect of Bains-douches.

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Sold for 11.5 million euros

“Bains-douches” is the typical project that could not have seen the light of day without “Reinventing Paris 1”. This is a marker for the inhabitants of the district, now transformed into a coworking space with about thirty places and a business model while preserving its character. 

Led by the developer Axitis, this social project with individualised leases for each of the 56 flatmates and quarterly commercial leases for coworkers is operated by in’li, the subsidiary of Action logement specialising in intermediate housing.

Acknowledging the value of this solution for young working people, the chairman of the in’li management board announced that other initiatives of the same type were underway in Greater Paris: Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine) and Bagnolet (Seine-Saint-Denis). Finally, the programme was sold for 11.5 million euros to Ircantec, an investment fund managed by Swiss Life which is intended to finance pensions and “favours the long term”.

On each of the 8 storeys, flats are connected with a balcony.

© JGP

Originally published in Le Journal du Grand Paris (read French version here).