We are proud that KCAP has been involved in the research to redefine the reference framework for housing in France, sharing our expertise in that sector to improve the overall residential quality.

The French government has announced to aim for a new housing quality reference system. This redefinition of the fundamentals "begins with the scale of housing". The task force led by Laurent Girometti, Managing Director of the public development establishment Epamarne, and the urbanist François Leclercq proposes a new reference framework. In light of the lessons learned from the periods of lockdown during the pandemic, this work should "enable to change the practices, to reverse the trend towards ever smaller housing, while taking into account social, economic and environmental issues".

Kees Christiaanse, founding partner of KCAP, and the partners Edward Schuurmans and Xavier Blaringhem, have been interviewed by the research team of François Leclercq, Jacques Lucan and Odiler Seiler. They are making a comparative study with other European countries about the size and cost, outdoor space, typologies, standards construction process, and norms of residential buildings.

Edward explained how dwelling environments are conceived in The Netherlands. The goal is to create a high quality affordable living comfort with communal and private outdoor spaces. As Edward says: “We strive to create lively urban neighbourhoods, where there is as much focus on the single dwelling unit as on its communal spaces and its urban outdoors”.

Xavier added examples from our practice in Switzerland, where KCAP has realised new and sustainable neighbourhoods that look at people’s wellbeing: “As I do with teaching, I see this contribution as a chance to share my knowledge. The multiple bridges I have built over years between different European architectural culture and practice will hopefully contribute to a new generation of high-quality habitat"

The research started by the French government represents one of the rare chances where architects can share their experience with politicians and regulation makers in such an early state to foster a higher architectural quality.

You can find the full document here. 


Photography: GWL Terrein by J. Bitter. The Gustav by Ossip van Duivenbode. Stadstuinen by R.'t Hart.