atelier du pont - Social Housing Development in the Parisian Suburbs Print
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 08:47

RelatedAtelier Du Pont – Social Housing Complex in Rennes, FranceAtelier Du Pont – Social Housing Complex in Rennes, France
The Lucien Rose complex, for the City of Rennes, includes 81 social housing units along with 1 public library. The original project was an initiative of Edmond Herve, Mayor of Rennes from 1977 to 2008. The design by archi...
A project of 34 housing units on an island site bordered by a gymnasium, a school and suburban housing, on avenue Henri Barbusse, along with a low-cost housing development from the 50s marked for demolition.

Social-Housing-06The challenge here for the lessor is to rehouse 34 families close to their old district within a scenario of wholly revamped housing, clearly departing from the typical ‘Banlieu’ social housing.

Largely due to its double-pitched roof, the project looks like a large house, a clear departure from the typical French suburban housing developments. Avoiding the mistakes of the housing projects from past decades, the dimensions of this development are brought down to scales within the grasp and control of its inhabitants.

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Edited by Lynda Waggoner


Social-Housing-05Social-Housing-04Two-storey building capped by a U-shaped roof is organized around a middle court. The project overlooks 7 hundred-year-old plane trees, splendid protected green spaces, which impart a quiet atmosphere to the whole development.
Social-Housing-08Social-Housing-07Urban and user-friendly at the same time, the building emphasizes its two-way orientation, onto the court and onto the road, through its enclosure, with a white terracotta finish facing the road and on the exterior elevations, and a contrasting wooden clad for the elevations facing the court.

Inside the building, the effort of bringing the building scale down induced the implementation of 4 stairwells. As a result, only 2 housing units were placed on each landing, emphasizing the small living unit aspect.
Social-Housing-02All the housing units run crossways or face two ways, even the 2-room units. Each one has a view over the court; all the rooms and in particular all the bathrooms (except one!) are naturally lit. The entrances are designed to be easily converted into small offices, thus taking into account changing lifestyles and family make-up.

All units extend outwards through balconies or rooftop terraces, laid out in a checkerboard arrangement to prevent the casting of shadows, on each other. The living rooms are glazed, with wide sliding windows providing natural sunlight. Finally the communal parts are almost all naturally lit and painted in a monochrome green that contrasts with the bright orange of the stairways.
Social-Housing-01Social-Housing-03The choice of a simple quite compact shape without any frills has made it possible to improve the quality of building material, external insulation, and providing a generous dose of natural light getting into the building.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 May 2011 11:06