The HLMs,habitation a loyer modere, in the suburbs of outer Paris have been the site of urban blight for the past few decades. Many social factors have contributed to this phenomonem, including immigration, the economic gap, and the lack of educational opportunities for the residents. The result is the culture of the banlieues, often perceived in the media as danger-zones for violence and criminal activity.
While social activism is in the forefront of tackling these issues, architects and designers are exploring the physical environments, in the effort of finding specific ways of intervening on the housing complex. The goal is not only to alleviate crime, but also to encourage positive attachment between the residence and the place; create a relationship between the dweller and the dwelling. The aim of this intevention on an existing social housing tower is to encourage freedom; to provide spatial opportunities for residents to add their own take on the space. The sense of belonging and attachment with the space will do more to encourage residents to take ownership of their neighborhoods and respond to the social problems that impact their lives.
August 26, 2014
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