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Metal and Curtains Suspended from a Concrete Structure: 5 Vertbois

Moussafir Architectes

photographed by
Hervé Abbadie (unless otherwise indicated)
materials provided by
Moussafir Architectes
edited by
Park Jiyoun

SPACE March 2024 (No. 676) 



interview Petra Blaisse principal, Inside Outside × Park Jiyoun


Park Jiyoun (Park): This is a renovation project located at Vertbois Street in Paris. You hung black steel and aluminium to the concrete to emphasise the original reinforced concrete structure. 

Jacques Moussafir (Moussafir): It was both an aesthetic and structural choice to differentiate between the pre-existing heavy load-bearing concrete structure and the light-weight suspended metalwork of the new staircases and façades. From a construction point of view, it was simpler and quicker to handle metal prefabricated elements than pouring concrete stairs on site. Beyond differentiating the new from the old, the use of black steel and aluminium highlights the concrete shell which is the only preserved element of the original building.



©Vincent Leroux


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Moussafir Architectes (Jacques Moussafir)

Design team

Virginie Prié, Estelle Grange-Dubellé,


5 rue du Vertbois 75003, Paris, France


neighbourhood living facility

Site area


Gross floor area


Structural engineer

Malishev-Wilson (Philip Wilson, Ghyslain Protois)


Lisandre (structure), Rok (electricity), Kozac (l

Design period

2013 – 2022

Exterior curtains designer

Inside Outside (Petra Blaisse, Peter Niessen)

Construction budget

400 million EUR

Jacques Moussafir
Jacques Moussafir practice in the fields of both public and private commissions. Its built projects range from private residences to social housing – such as 120 residential units at Chapelle International in Paris awarded the Best Social Housing 2022 Architecture Masterprize and was the jury winner in the 2023 Architizer Awards – and music venues, including Le Temps Machine in Joué-les-Tours, named ‘Architecture Contemporaine Remarquable’ in 2023 by the French Ministry of Culture.
Petra Blaisse
Petra Blaisse, Inside Outside’s founder and lead designer, works in a multitude of creative areas including interior design, landscape architecture, exhibition, textile and curtain design. Over time, Blaisse has received numerous prizes for the studio’s innovative and dynamic interventions. In 2022, she was honored with the Dutch ARC 22 Architecture Oeuvre Award. Blaisse lectures and gives working classes to students internationally. After publishing two books on Inside Outside’s work (2007 and 2012), a comprehensive new book will be published in March, an initiative of the ETH Zurich. The Inside Outside/Petra Blaisse – Retrospective exhibition has travelled through Europe since 2018.