House in Lille / Saison-Menu Architectes


French photographer Stéphane Chalmeau shared with us this 200 sqm house designed by Saison-Menu Architectes in a narrow site in Lille, . It features a wooden first floor that merge with the exterior fence, and brown boxes-like volumes on the second floor, creating a wide terrace on top.

Cite: "House in Lille / Saison-Menu Architectes" 26 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • majchers

    Good project and an interesting approach but setting the front back from the main street is unacceptable. It makes the whole house totaly out of place and context.

    • toto

      Strange, i thought this was the best part of the project, relating to the context by leaving the brick surface of the adiacent house exposed

      • majchers

        RU nuts?

    • Os

      Go home.

      • toto

        i am

    • reger

      old school

    • martin

      I think this is the very strength of the project. Exposing the brick wall of the older building exposes the very best part of its structure, it is so much more beautiful than the traditional aesthetics of the facade that is just a bleak ornamental adaptation of classical architecture. This approach I think gives a new meaning to the place and adds a new dimension to the context. The dialog between the forms is very interesting.

      • majchers

        Martin, you are right – this design exposes the brick wall of the older building next door. But it also exposes its ass to us. And not only in the real (vulgar) meaning but in its “quotable” meaning too: “go to hell all you, I ignore all of you and do what I want” type of thing.
        As I wrote Fran (below). This house it totally out of space and with no consideration to what is around it.
        See this townhouse here:
        Almost as controversial a house but at least they managed to stay within the streetscape.

    • martin

      majcher, your link below was for this very page. Please post the right link, would like to see it.

    • martin

      majcher, you link below do not work, please repost.

  • billigflug

    Hi, very very thanks, this website is helpful.

  • 8.8


  • Julia

    i would love to live there

  • ltv

    I dont know what the advantage would be to take the front to the facade of the context building?

    Not to mention the loss of the privacy and the inside / outside relationship the court affords for the lower level bedroom.

    • majchers

      The house itself if goog in not more – and I like it. The way the designers trated its surroundings, especially the front and the EXISTING streetscape is simply not right. The totally neglected the fact that this building is actually in a very specific environment. Such a approach is simply unacceptable.

      • lts

        You do understand that you have yet to give any reasonable criticism for the garden / setback other than “unacceptable” to the context.

        If the context is the issue for you, the whole house shoud go do to the scale, materials, style, and I will assume program. So the project is a nice project except the garden which violates your acceptance.

        Weird logic, because the setback is one of many anomalies that seperate this building from its context.

  • Fran

    Nice work
    Setting the front back from the main street was the right way to deal with this specific context.

    From the outside it amphasizes the existing houses and lead the composition from the traditional to the contemporary.I especialy like the fact that the house doesn’t touch the existing brick house.
    That green space in the corner is a good starting point for the little pedestrian way along the house.
    From the inside because it creates a space between the house and the street for more privacy. The sequency from the street to the living is quite interesting.

    • majchers

      No, dear Fran. This house it totally out of space and with no consideration to what is around it.
      See this townhouse here:
      Almost as controversial a house but at least they managed to stay within the streetscape.

      • SPUD

        you are on quite a campaign against this house aren’t you. how everything is “unecceptable”. i agree that the treatment of the garden is maybe not so nice and could have been done better, but is it such a bad idea in concept to have a garden on the street?

  • Nicholas

    Beautiful and sensitive. Both to context and living experience. Great work.

  • RGoldschmidt

    Strange house for France people, or aren’t they france. The only thing that made me belive that they are france is the framed picture on the wall nearby bed and bath tub. And my opinion is that: This house is not for frence people. (if anybody from france are around here can came and say the truth)
    Bizzare maison pour le francais, mais se possible que le propriétaire ne est pas francais. Seule chose par cette project qui me fait penser est le tableaux dans le photo du lit et de bain. Et mon oppinion est ca: Il n’est une maison faire pour francais.(excusez mon français, mais je suis roumaine)

  • bLogHouse

    It looks like the lot is really narrow and long and this triggers a chain of design decisions leading to solutions, similar to the presented. However, the wooden fence in the front is very unconvincing (it might be a budget matter) and the lack of a full bathroom to serve the first floor bedrooms is strange.

  • majchers

    I do not want to argue here and prolong an unnecessary discussion. Once again and for the last time: the house itself is good if not more. I am not against it nor the author. The problem I see here is that this design totally neglects the neighbourhood (as it can be seen on some photos the property (lot, plot) is located in a typical european city substance of XIX / XX era). It is not that this design turns its back at all that (short of showing the middle finger to it) but it looks like the designers totally overlooked this aspect if not purposely disregarded it.
    P.S. My comments are based on what I see here and what I read. I now nothing about city bylaws and other local regulations that are applicable here which could’ve influenced this design.

    • Dustin

      What a senseless argument, you only justify your reasoning by thinking that since the next door neighbors house begins at the street this house should begin at the street too. I believe this house respects the context completly. The way it is set back from the street lets it relate peacefully to the building next door and the beautiful brickwork. If it would be at street level it would be confroting the other building and it would look ugly because the larger building would over power it.
      The void allows for more intimacy and by surrounding it, it is clearly shown where the lot actually begins. even though there is no MASS right next to the street… the house is there through the void.

      • Dustin

        And what you said earlier about the buildings Ass being exposed… so what of it? If you have a beautiful Ass pull down your shorts and expose it. If you have an ugly blue Ass.. keep it covered. The ass of this building is quite good looking and should be exposed.

      • majchers

        Justin, don’t play a smart alec or a rebellious… ass. You do not turn your back to your surroundings and the world you live in. Unless you are a nut or so. Do not let me believe yours is the case.

  • Frix

    I’m about to agree majchers. The house is really good, i think everyone is ok on that. The little way created on the side works well too. But the front elevation on main street can’t bring any satisfaction, it gives impression that architects have been embarassed with it, it really looks like a backyard, but it’s on main street. There’s something weird with that.
    Maybe extending first level height on separation wall until neighboor’house would have improved contact between house and its context. Something’s wrong with the material of this wall too; while the house has great materials and finitions, the wall on main street is super cheap… why?
    Any way, there was obviously something better to find on this street corner.

    • majchers

      I am glad someone (you!) finally noticed the problem. Ignorance is the worst thing that can happen to the designer.
      As to the house itself – there is no way to fix it. The whole concept is wrong. You need to start it again from scratch.

      • Dustin

        You are blue.

  • majchers

    I guess I have to apologize to all – the link I posted here is obviously wrong. I simply did not notice that.
    So here is the correct link : Townhouse by Elding Oscarson

  • Dustin

    Again, for some reason my comments were erased. It’s quite unfortunate, I liked to have discussions on archdaily, but lately everytime I post a comment it gets erased for whatever reason.