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Text description provided by the architects. This project was initiated in order to the rehabilitate Ecouflant’s village centre, taking into account the place’s historical heritage. A dialogue was started between the contemporary project and a 15th-century building, the Lodge. The work was launched after King Kong Atelier had worked out a way to redevelop the town centre that would be respectful of the surrounding countryside and of the delightful architectural heritage. SABH made it a point a point in their vision.
Thus, openings in the newly built sequence create the link with the remarkable old entities in the village centre: the church, the presbytery and the City hall. The different units of the project (residential, library and retail) thread their way to the river Sarthe like a dynamic ribbon and frame a large green area in its heart. With its built-up spaces and empty ones, the project allows the village to cluster around its Lodge, encasing the historical building in its new design. Then, it threads its way down to the river, through the meadows along its banks. In a reversible movement, the countryside seems to creep up to the heart of the village, an impression wrought by the timber on the walls of the buildings rising up to the roof, creating a sort of vernacular monolith.
On the 1st and 2nd floors, the residential blocks propose 41 energy efficient social housing units, overlooking either the gardens, the planted mall or the Sarthe. Prefabricated timber boards cover the concrete post/slab structure of the building isolated by a 140 mm layer of glass wool on the outside and 80 mm on the inside (an additional insulation has been laid on the outside). Façades are covered with oven-treated Douglas pine boards, with an open-work cladding, whilst window and door frames are made of larch. District heating, provided to the development, is fuelled by burning wood chips in winter and gas in summer.