Text description provided by the architects. Architecture for all!
This project of a home for a retired couple was born from research on financial optimisation through rationalisation and radicalisation of the design.
At 1250 € pre-tax per square meter for the residential area, the project places itself in the financial reality of the demand and the offer of the manufacturers of individual houses in France.
The plan and the cross sections are based on a rational 1 by 1 meter grid: measuring 9 by 9 meters on the ground floor and 9 by 4 meters on the first floor.
The "generosities" are precisely selected and distributed: height and light for the living areas (living room, mezzanine) and reasonable volumes for the more intimate areas (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen).
The living areas are connected: the kitchen to the living/dining room, the terrace to the garden. This layout allows the space to expand towards the outside and reinforces the feeling of openness. The ground floor level is also entirely accessible to people with reduced mobility and offers a complete living area, if required.
The Southern facade is entirely glazed (protected by a pergola, which can support a cover or a climbing plant), whereas the Northern facade is completely blind. The Western gable is designed to be more welcoming whereas the Eastern gable, more retracted, offers intimate spaces.
The large 36 square meter mezzanine offers multiple layout and occupation possibilities. If necessary, the mezzanine floor can be partitioned to make two closed bedrooms as well as an additional bathroom.
You will not find any plasterboards in this house — they have been replaced by wooden panels that cover the walls, the ceilings and the partitions. This choice allows the elimination of two trades (plastering and painting) and permits the organisation of a time-saving, dry and clean construction site (because the wood panels are cut and varnished in a workshop)
The thermal inertia of the inhabited space is reinforced by the screed and prefabricated concrete which are and embedded into the internal post-and-beam structure.
The envelope is well insulated with sustainable materials: cellulose wadding (20 cm in the walls, 26 cm in the roof) and supplemented with wood fibre (6 cm in the walls and roof)
This universal research on the problematic of the “reasoned and universally accessible individual house” is not an architectural feat.
It answers very common questions regarding space, comfort, ecology, urbanism in a simple yet precise way.
Here, we share all our documents regarding the conception of this small project: Plans, sections, facades, details, quantitative aspects, descriptions, cost estimates, site photos and final photos.
All this information is collected in an A3 document of about sixty pages. The PDF is freely downloadable from our platform.
We hope that by making this knowledge accessible, we can inspire and encourage the projects and ideas of the greatest number.
This freedom allows us to militate and diffuse the basis of a different way of building:
- Frugality and rationality of the plan
- Distribution of "generosities" (volumes, lights, materials)
- Reasoned constructive systems
- Comfort and functionality
- Sustainable materials
- Local economy: simple and popular procedures available to local businesses
- Value of artisanal know-how: carpentry, joinery, roofing…
- Questioning the aesthetic clichés of the French individual house.
The principle Open Source information, as opposed to patented, intellectual property is fundamental in what we call the "collaborative society”: a society based on principles of openness, trust and value-sharing
This procedure, in the tone of a “happy sobriety”, raises the question of the role and importance of the architect in the concept of shared progress.