a/LTA Architects shared with us their winning proposal for a competition where they were challenged to design 142 dwellings in Nantes, France. The operation consists of three housing buildings placed on a foundation of business premises. The whole is articulated by a landscaped garden with vegetal and mineral nuances. More images and architects’ description after the break.
We believe that ‘beautiful’ housing accommodations are bright, well-oriented and offer large views. That’s what we developed for the three buildings with views to the city center of Nantes or to the river. We used the same codes and registers, but declined for each operation. The aim is to distinguish each entity while having an overall unity. Thus, the staging of homes through their extension outside (loggias, terraces) are scripted buildings from public spaces.
The inherent quality of the housing draws the facades. The architecture emphasizes the use and the opportunity offered by the housing. We did not want an architecture that was demonstrative, but rather an architecture that makes you want to be inhabited, to be invested.
We are particularly interested in the orientation of housing. Thus the vast majority of the flats have a southeast or southwest exposure. Additionally, most units have a double crossing angle or orientation. The slenderness of the corner buildings forms two ‘towers’ that mark the ends of the plot and dialogue with Picasso’s Walk, as the central building, below, maintains a relationship with the garden.