Housing and activities complex “Les Grands Chênes”
The site on which the housing ensemble was built presents itself as a “pièce paysagère”: a broad field framed by tall, old trees, punctuated by some small groves. The new ensemble of four houses is inserted into the field as a constellation of building volumes; the trees were retained.
Following the example of the older structures in the village, each house has its own courtyard surrounded by a wall that continues the façade. These courtyards are available to the residents, who for instance can eat in the open air or hang their washing up to dry.
Each apartment has a loggia that leads to the communal area of the courtyard and opens out to the field landscape.
To retain the rural character of the grounds, motorised traffic is restricted to service and delivery vehicles. A car park is situated at the entrance of the neighbourhood, while a footpath connects the houses to each other.
Supporting facades and several partition walls inside forms the structure of the building. The exterior walls are made of washed concrete, whereby the colour of the aggregate materials accords with the tone of the earth on the site. The wooden construction of the loggias is inserted into the protective concrete structure. Sliding shutters characterise the façade facing the courtyard. They also provide protection from direct sunlight and filter views between the private and communal areas. The shutters, the attic and the cover for the car park are made of dark brown wood and recall the local rural buildings.