Compiled by Team IAnD
Info &Photography: Courtesy the architects
Architects rethink typologies and inspire varied versions based on individualistic design. Here is yet another hybrid typology by LAN architecture, challenging the typical housing idiom…
It is a new, ecological and social living space attuned to contemporary times. The challenge being to build collective housing with the same qualities and advantages of the single-family home (the sense of privacy, the outdoor space, autonomy as well as strong sensory contact with the outdoors) with the addition of social public space and without the latter’s disadvantages in terms of environmental impact.
The program of 79 housing units along with shops and business premises is sculpted out of the mass, following a stacked container typology, exploiting their urban potential and intrinsic spatial qualities; and the entire volume is enveloped in light-weight facade with an ultra-high performance insulation level.
The highlight of the seemingly simple façade is that the envelope can double its size in the future, and thus, double its density. The typology, chosen as the starting point of the concept of hybridization, is the Bordeaux ‘echoppes’ : one-story houses, built in-depth. The simple stalls (with a façade between 5 and 6 metres high) have a side corridor, leading to a main room and a communal space next to the courtyard. Each apartment can access its winter garden to increase its living area. In response to the family growth, the inhabitants can add a room within a framework that has already been constructed, and remove it once the kids have left the house.
The project’s richness and major interest lies in the possibility of inventing an urban lifestyle set in a highly experimental framework enabling the affirmation of new ecological and contemporary architectures. And the diversity of architectural propositions and communal and private spaces had to ensure and enhance this specificity.
A careful study of habitat modes, climatic conditions and the sun’s trajectory throughout the year guides the organization of the housing units. Also, the idea of variable compactness introduces the notion of a housing unit’s adaptability to seasons and times of day. All residents have the possibility of using their exterior space as a windbreak, a mini-greenhouse or, conversely, as a means of cooling or ventilating. The morphology of each unit stems from the wish to develop housing units enabling a variety of uses very simply and with no extra technological input.
The final plan therefore has cross-building units with adaptable exterior spaces and at least two different orientations. The project is currently under construction.