Lacaton & Vassal

Housing transformation . Saint-Nazaire


Lacaton & Vassal . photos: © philippe ruault

The block of 3 rue des Ajoncs is a part of a highrise estate, La Chesnaie, characteristic of the urban planning of the 70s, based on the massive development of modern housing in the context of providing apartments for all and an optimistic vision of the future.










































Today the district has no more attractiveness and is depreciated, towards the inhabitants of the city.
The image is degraded.
These situations, here as somewhere else, lead the authorities to demolish, to disintegrate, to drill, to spread, to recompose, to redraw the mass plans, without cares for the existing.
We do not like this method. We think that to demolish is an error, and that we can make differently.
Because if we look at the district attentively, objectively, from the inside, we see qualities and capacities there:
. the inhabitants, the green spaces, the beautiful trees,
. the modernity,
. solid constructions, rather well preserved,
. the beautiful views far away in front of,
. an urban situation close to the city center, well connected by transport
. a good management of the buildings by the owner, closer of the inhabitants, in order to solve their problems,
. the conviviality, and often people rooted, attached to their district, but bothered by the bad image which sticks on it.

All this has a value, a sufficient value to consider that the existing situation has assets and precious qualities, which are a consequent support in a radical and positive transformation.
The transformation of the building 3 rue des Ajoncs goes into this attitude, as an action of longer term, which will re - qualify durably housing and all the district.


Architects Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal
with Frédéric Druot, architect
Julien Callot, architect collaborator,

Mabire et Reich, architects, site supervision
with CESMA, metal structure, PLBI, concrete structure, AREA, systems, engineers, Vincent Pourtau, cost estimate

Program :
transformation a block of 40 apartments + 40 new apartments


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