Designed by Hamonic + Masson, their winning proposal for the housing units in Nantes opens a dialogues with the surrounding space by introducing a new way of living together, mainly based on the generosity of the exterior private and community spaces. The architecture of the building and public spaces will be composed of a play in the accumulation and stacking of floors. The ensemble of curves highlights the building’s radiance and dialogue with the near and far environment. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Height in contemporary architecture is often a byword these days for modernity and aesthetics. It has to be addressed as a planning tool; it can create density in certain areas to keep open space in others. We are proposing a project that is clearly part of a forward-‐looking approach to urban housing, i.e. a high-‐rise building will make it possible to engage in a new housing relationship with the outside world.
High-‐rise buildings make it possible for their inhabitants to be out of the way while still living in the city, to see space. Living there is like travelling. The benefits of living high up in a tower block are having an uninterrupted view without the need of curtains on the windows. A panoramic view lets people see the horizon, the moving sun and the changing seasons. Living in the air gives a sense of privilege. But to achieve that, buildings have to be user-friendly, enjoy reliable lives and be perfectly integrated into their surroundings.
One luxury in a city is having one’s own outside space as symbolized by a house, grounded on terra firma. We have introduced scaling in the way of living in the air with the lower floors defining the various outside spaces and the inclusion of a planted tray as part of the balustrade enabling a different appropriation of the terraces. The higher up you go, above any obstructed views, the more the terraces become big, panoramic screens with winter gardens protected from the wind and weather.
The businesses and offices located on the entire ground floor work in partnership with the “pedestrian volume”. A place that is transparent and deep with rich and varied perspectives, this “pedestrian volume” enhances the town by offering a dynamic and lively character to the entire project area. Lot C1, a genuine “urban signal”, stands on a strategic location. The building’s volumes accompany the varying scales with a play of sensual curves. The inclusion of its intermediary platforms makes it possible to sequence the volumes.
As a forward-‐looking project, what we are proposing is a simple, chiseled script that will wed a contemporary register.Our building reflects a highly sober image by its character and “clothing”. Encased in a subtle mantle of light-‐tinted metallic cladding, its surfaces draw the light. Due to the building’s vestment, surfaces dialogue with the surrounding buildings through a constant play of reflection, luminosity and tones.
We are proposing a “landscape” building with an inhabited “biotope”. By working on the skyline we can introduce variations in the building’s outline as it stands out against the sky and appropriate various and different types of roofing. Neighboring inhabitants are thus given a scaled variety of views and the building’s users a variety of spaces. So the project plays on the idea of movement, backgrounds and multiplicity. The building shines night and day, giving the city a new place and a new dynamic benchmark.
Architects: Hamonic + Masson
Location: Nantes, France
Program: 135 Housing units
Site Area: 11,000 sqm SDP (housing, retail, offices)
Status: Competition winner