LOUVIERS (FR) - What makes this apartment building by Edouard François special is its facade. While the interior walls have been whitewashed, the facade has merely been given a protective water-repellent coating. Some 15 to 20 cm in front of it is a 'palisade' of sturdy timber poles joined by stainless steel wire, attached to the facade with hooks and reinforced with metal bars. The wooden structure fulfils the dual function of umbrella and parasol. In addition, this screen-facade controls thermal inertia and acoustics, ventilation, daylighting and views out. Its greatest virtue is the simple construction system using a familiar and recyclable material, chestnut wood.