Just like wood. Only better

Transforming social housing using attractive façades that look like wood, yet have the power of stone

Square Pasteur was a refurbishment in northern France of 150 social housing units within four buildings. The aim of the project was to bring a new, more contemporary and serene identity to the buildings and inspire their residents.

The architect, Hélène Richet, believed façades with a wooden appearance would be perfect for a green urban environment. However, by its nature, wood is flammable, needs regular maintenance and has a limited life before it requires costly renewal.

The discovery of Rockpanel Woods became the inspiration for Hélène, and overcame concerns about combustibility and longevity. These boards are almost perfect replicas of wood, yet with all the long-lasting benefits inherent in a stone façade. Since they are manufactured from natural basalt, the Rockpanel Woods boards provide high fire-resistance properties, as well as being extremely durable, weather resistant and sustainable.

Square Pasteur now meets the highest fire safety requirements available, thanks to the pleasing appearance of natural wood. Residents also live in greater comfort due to the inherent insulation properties of Rockpanel Woods which will reduce energy bills into the future. The aesthetic appeal of the buildings has been achieved with no compromise at all on performance. 

Finally, the improved environment has increased the quality of life and living conditions for hundreds of residents, who now see the benefits of combining the strengths of stone with the natural warmth of wood. Simply put, it is the best of both worlds.

La Madeleine, France

Project location

Square Pasteur
La Madeleine

“From an architectural point of view, the aim of the project was to offer the occupants a new identity. It was necessary to infuse a new, more contemporary and serene spirit to the inhabitants as well as give the additional comfort of insulation. For these reasons, the facades have been completely rethought, as well as the development of green spaces. Now the inhabitants have a residential site with greater comfort and optimised thermal performance.”

Hélène Richet

Associate Architect at Atlante Architectes

Project Data

Year N/A
Building Type Social Housing
Application Ventilated Facade
Product type Ecorock, Rockfacade, Rockpanel