Siemp, Paris

arch. Frederic Borel Paris

Type of treatment: polished



At the heart of Paris’s Left Bank, in the Masséna district where architecture of every kind is on trial, 48 homes have been created without recourse to monumental polished concrete frontages.


Architectonic concrete ... and social housing

DECOMO, present in France for nearly three decades, had usually brought its know-how to tertiary buildings and public services. A fruitful collaboration with the architect Frédéric Borel, already sealed in the recent past on the Quai Panhard School of Architecture, has enabled it to show with flare that the result of the “precast + social housing” sum is not necessarily that of the bar sinister of the monoliths of the Parisian cityscape.


550m³ of concrete were produced in the factory, for 3,200m² of polished concrete frontages; 1,2OOm² of which were lemon-, grey-, or apricot-coloured. 360 different panels were designed, and required 60,000kg of steel in order to contribute to the structure’s stability.

The SIEMP, building owner, has supported this project, which gives everyone a futuristic vision of housing and its appropriation by the occupant. Because here, everything is volume and everything is colour.

To respond to Frédéric Borel’s freedom of line, the DECOMO Engineering & Design Department designed as many plans as there are panels in the frontages, because none is the same as the next. And many of these components intended for two-storey heights required delicate handling operations for their transport and for turning them over at installation. All these elements are load-bearing, and some are tilted; which led to non-standard sizings, both in terms of thickness and when expressed as a reinforcement percentage. Without this strength curbing the expression of the forms and the colours, omnipresent on this building. And for which DECOMO employed a white cement concrete plus white marble aggregates, with or without the addition of coloured pigments, with a glossy polished concrete finish.