‘Rue Achard’ is the main artery in the Bacalan area created by the lengthening of the Bordeaux quayside. The project sits on two small Greenfield sites, each roughly 600m2, one at the junction of ‘rue Achard’ and ‘rue de la Delbos’ (building A), and the other behind running the length of the ‘cité Tirepois’, (building B). The whole articulate around this preserved field path. In the neighbourhood, it is the last of its kind – at the very least, the only one which kept this specific nature.
The 18 apartments follow a common principle: the living spaces are placed in the middle, occupying the width of the buildings and are largely open to the exterior by an intermediate floor to ceiling sliding window frame (no visible lintels), running the length of each space (no columns or walls)and are enclosed by the kitchen, storage spaces and the bedrooms and bathrooms. The typical external spaces of the balconies and loggias are integrated into the buildings and raise the net floor areas (71-81 m2 for a 2 bed apartment). The visual limits of this central space, now with a new different relationship with the exterior transform into balconies.
Each central space and the kitchen create a living space representing two thirds of the net floor living area with the bedrooms and bathrooms pushed to a comfortable limit. This space can now house another function, become an office space, a spare bedroom, retreat…and rests always a part of the lounge and dining room. Solar protection is provided by external adjustable venetian blinds allowing a variation of light intensity for each room.
The demanding, constrained sites with their poor quality substrate, called for the required parking to be left on ground floor level. The buildings construction sits on concrete pilotis, which touch ground to form one apartment onto the rue Achard, the communal staircases and the entrances. The building B horizontal in form is setback from the neighbouring wall by the required 4 metres. Building A adopts the same form yet turns on itself taking the shape of a ring. The two compact buildings are externally insulated and covered on all sides by a metal rainscreen cladding system.