LAN Architecture

124 Housing Units . Rennes

LAN Architecture

The design of this area is located at the crossroads of architecture, urban planning and landscape design: the scale of the project and its impact on the future life of the district lead us to consider as central the question of urbanity in this housing and commercial project.

It is indeed the occasion to redraw, complete, develop the area and the town by introducing in this project a vision of future. In our mind, the quest for a sustainable city goes through the proposition of places to live that are continuously animated, used, alive, by a mix of functions where programs can fit into each other, be superimposed, and become intermingled. Strategy First remark: the plot is located in a not very dense space, where void is as important as full. Our intervention consists in a game of hollows, following the logic initiated by Reichen & Robert et Associés. With the help of faults, openings, and with the drawing of exterior spaces, we decline the idea of “fair transparency” to lavish on the project the urban feature necessary to its success. Freeing views, letting light come in the core of the block and creating some high exterior spaces in order to enjoy the Vilaine River are some of the architectural means that we solicit in this project. Location, morphology The project is divided in 5 parts, each owning its way to live and function. Parking, shops and a chapel occupy the first two levels. The bedrock formed hosts a courtyard, which distribute the housing units. To draw the courtyard, the stake was to renew the traditional image of the courtyard: it dealt with affirming the place of nature in the build environment. The large areas in open ground and the density of the greenery extend the planted public spaces in order to bring them back inside of the blocks and ensure the continuity of the vegetal fabric, as well as the individual gardens and the terraces. Special attention was paid to paths and planting in order to provide privacy to some areas. In the housing units, the position of the openings from walls and accesses returning light or artificially enlarging the space, bedrooms with several windows and different views, all this constitutes micro attentions to housing units in some subtle variations of changing lights, colors and atmospheres. Housing typologies We are working for some time to develop hybrid models, to provide to collective housing the same qualities and advantages than the single housing, without the disadvantages in terms of sustainability. It deals with designing an intermediate habitat that could combine desire for intimacy and pleasure of sociability. Architectural languages: patterns and loggias To provide and outdoor space for all units, we have designed a perimeter balcony, encircling the entire floor, and which size changes depending on the orientation, the view and the position of the adjacent room. This thickness between the wall and the public space forms an inhabited façade, which structure, for thermic reasons, is independent from the building’s. The equivalent quality of the two facades of the tower, in terms of view and light allowed us to use two type plans, in order to provide to each unit an 2-storey high outdoor space. The unit of measurement of the terraces is no longer the m² but the m3. The facades of the buildings are formed with 2 layers; the first, light, thin, designed with brushed aluminum reflect the surrounding of the plot, creating in the same time en effect of visual contiguity. This skin acts as sunscreen. Thicker, the second meets the needs of thermic performances. A geometric pattern regularly perforates the metallic façade; taking its inspiration from the facades of the half-timbered houses of Rennes, it declines depending each building, allowing them to assert their identity, and, for the tower, to reveal the stratification. So is naturally set up a system of grids, and this skin, its materiality and its perforations, becomes the image of the five building.

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