UNIK by Beckmann-N'Thépé Architectes

Olivier Amsellem,


French studio B/NT has built a housing development in Paris. UNIK contains 160 residential units: 159 normal apartments plus one which is the first home in Europe to be designed specifically for people with Locked-In Syndrome.

UNIK by Beckmann-N'Thépé Architectes

Beckmann-N'Thépé (BN/T) recently completed the UNIK housing development in Paris. What makes the complex truly unique is not the fact that all 159 residential units feature different forms and surfaces, but the 2000m² "Maison Perce Niege", the 160th unit.

This unit is Europe’s first home designed specifically for people with Locked-In Syndrome (LIS), a syndrome which causes total paralysis of almost all the voluntary muscles: the syndrome Steven Hawking has. Built by the association Alis, Maison Perce Niege has room for up to twenty people, providing each of them with all the ergonomic and physiotherapy services they require as well as a garden and a specially equipped restaurant. The home also incorporates an information centre offering psychological support for patients.

The home, and the entire complex, stands out on the banks of the Seine in the Boulogne-Billancourt district. The building has a streamlined shape full of sharp corners, characterised by use of white concrete on the balconies and by large windows overlooking the river, the park and the surrounding landscape.

Francesco Cibati

Design: Beckmann-N'Thépé (BN/T)
Year: 2016
Location: Paris, France
Photos: © Olivier Amsellem, Javier Callejas Sevilla, Christophe Valtin, Sto