Residence Les Pierres Noires
Construction of a 36 apartments housing project, with a dental clinic and a home for young disabled people
The city of Nantes commissionned the construction of a mixed development that includes dwellings for 36 families, a dental clinic, and a safe home for disabled children and teenagers. The building was to be as exemplary in its design as in its aesthetics. Its architecture had to be attractive to the future tenants while relying on environmentally conscious cconstruction.
Taking place between a pedestrian alleyway lined with trees in the North, and a much more modest road (rue Diane Fossey), the complex is organised in three buildings, so as to remain within the wanted proportions in the neighborhood.
The first two buildings are T-shaped with one six-story wing and another three-story wing, adding a « sculpted touch » to the project--relatively compact with sections of the facades that are tucked in or that emerge. The apartments benefit from the thickness of the facade that is prolonged off the living-rooms, creating a homogeneous whole of superimposed loggias.
The composition generates a rotating movement that gives the project a clear role as the prow of this part of the ZAC. The designers kept in mind the alluring qualities sought after by the project manager. The building is set up so that each tenant can recognize its apartment from the exterior, facilitating a wholesome sense of appropriation. The attention placed on orientation, through the turning motion of the whole, favors the South and the West. This reinforces the sustainable construction of the project by taking advantage of the views and the sun exposure, while mitigating the pitfalls of having too many neighboring properties, each fighting for space.
The creation of two access points, one for each of the building, favors the individualization of the communal spaces. The delimitation between public and private property is clear, with a common court giving access to the three buildings.
True to the specified requirements, the private gardens are set in the East, in such a way that they conform visually to the neighboring interior plaza, and prolong to the West the downstairs lodgings. Set-up at the very limit of the North-West end of the property, leaning against the building next door, the on-ramp parking inserts itself naturally into the composition.
In proscribing to the specifics of the site, the project respects the width of the urban and architectural rules in place. The building height plan, the base, the play of the terraces, the openings, and the loggias, reveal an urban object of quality that deserves to be desired. The residence is seen as a construction which is carefully integrated within the ZAC, but also as an original and dynamic composition, embracing perfectly its status of landmark at the point of the urban isle.
The architectural vocabulary is sober, the forms are powerful but simple, clear and legible. The project calls for materials that harken back to the context of the area. The base anchors this project into the site, taking into account the slope of the terrain. It is built using a double wall of stamped concrete in order to assure sustainability and base resistance.
The housing stories are draped in minerals with shale bricks from a Nantes quarry. The loggias are entirely clad in wood, as much of their lateral surfaces as on their enclosures, consisting of folding blinds. The materials and the forms alternate between contrasting and complimentary, thus reinforcing the architectural will.
Careful urban integration, performance and truth of the materials implemented, reach for noble materials and certified, greening give this project an optimal environmental value. The quality of life of the residents and visitors is at the heart of this study that favors a strong urban integration. The sculptural treatment of the block, respectful of its future use and the meaning of the materials, enriches the perception of this habitat.