Text description provided by the architects. Redevelopment of the former De Bonne barracks was an important step int he drive to launch sustainable housing in France. Originally designed to extend the city centre towards the Grands Boulevards, the estate combines social diversity and multiple functions – housing, retail space, amenities and parks, with easy access and environmental quality. Its carbon footprint – building insulated on the outside (for this building for example) equivalent to the energy-efficient building (BBC) standard, is several years ahead of existing rules in France. The project of urban redevelopment won the 2009 Grand Prix National for eco-neighbourhoods sponsored by the Ministry of Planning Sustainable Development.
122 housings, completed in 2011
This building comprises four blocks surrounding an internal park visible from the streets through vertical openings between the blocks. There are seven storeys of apartments with commercial activities at ground-floor level
Five fundamental points orientated the conception of the project : environmental quality, comfort, architectural and urban quality, the treatment of the external spaces, and the modernity of the architecture. As a result, the study of the compact nature and depth of building led to proposing three principle apartment types:
TYPE 1 – TYPICAL FLOOR LEVEL WITH HANGING GARDEN
The street-facing apartments between first- and fifth-floor levels open on to the exterior through the temporal space of a miniature garden and wooden terrace area ( in the style of a Japanese garden ) enclosed behind a series of glazed screens. This typology provides a system which is both efficient in climatic and acoustic terms and which creates a vibrant and animated street facade; the articulation of the brise-soleils being dependant on the individual choice, usage and comfort.
TYPE 2 – DUPLEX OVERLOOKING INTERNAL GARDEN
Duplex apartments are organised over 4 floor levels around the internal garden. The facades open on to the landscaping through loggias cantilevered over the gardens or through large glazed bays set within the building line. Through these double-height glazed openings, the landscaping is enabled to penetrate visually within the living areas. The whole at a domestic scale evoking the image of a human community with common values.
TYPE 3 – ROOFTOP VILLA
The apartments on the last two levels are treated as large single-storey villas, leading off landscaped patios. Transversal voids, isolate these apartments from each other and imbue them with the status of individual houses. The roofs of the upper-level villas are shaped to allow a higher ceiling height for the living areas and provide views towards the mountain ranges of the Vercors, the Chartreuse and the Belle Donne.