Text description provided by the architects. Located on the heights of Couëron, municipality of 19 000 inhabitants near Nantes, the residence of the “foyer la Grange”, entirely rebuilt in the early 2000s, offer a view on the town, the pines nearby and, from the upper floors, the Loire.
The extension is the Alzheimer wing of the establishment. Located on the south of the plot, it supports bedrooms and the common area in continuity of the ground floor of the residence and covers a parking lot on the plot-ground. It is also a retaining wall which has permitted to extend, flattened and thus to, make the garden accessible by the elderly.
If the built volume closes the garden space, a game with bay windows opens it visually on the generous terrace of the extension, followed of the foreground composed with remarkable pines giving depth to the view on the center of the town’s skyline, marked by the emergence of the church steeple. In addition to the attractiveness of the views and of the flood of light and sun, those frames constitute familiar benchmarks for disoriented residents. The culmination of the chain of spaces: existent building / garden / extension / terrace, the latter constitutes a belvedere taking advantage of the high location of the site to offer a panoramic view.
The program is organized around a core that allows circular wandering practiced by persons suffering of Alzheimer’s syndrome. A curtain of strings, lit by a band of LED reduces the volume presence and creates a game of filters. Therefore the hairdressing salon located on the front of the core takes advantage of the subdued views, both on the common area and on the exterior.
The indoor areas reflects the domestic approach of the program and its ambience‘s qualities are created by a work on the material, the color and the pattern. Materials are expressed : wooden frame, waxed concrete, the PVC protections offer a set of patterns and colors which constitutes as many benchmarks and stimulation for the inhabitants.
A particular work has been done on the habitability of the rooms. The bathrooms are positioned in staggered row so that it prevents to intrude on the usable surface of the bedrooms. This system permits also to propose natural light for half of the bathrooms. The concrete false ceilings contribute to the language used in the project and also to the thermal comfort of the building by the inertia which they confer to the building constituted of concrete walls and wall and roof wooden frames.