Text description provided by the architects. Le Monticole is the name of a mixed project consisting in building on the same site: 36 social housing units, a media library, medical office spaces, a restaurant and a car park.
We deliberately chose to build with a local, durable and noble material: solid stone. Because this project is essential for Plan d'Aou and the northern districts of Marseille in terms of program, it had to be exemplary in terms of architecture and quality. We chose the Beaulieu stone, which is a stone from Provence, extracted and cut in a local quarry by the company PROROCH and laid by the company CPMG.
Thus, we encourage a small economic sector to perpetuate their local skills and know-how. We made the choice of sustainability because we know that a well thought building means encouraging its good maintenance and its appropriation by the various users and therefore in the end becomes an object that will be respected and will age well. Finally, not spending unnecessary money to bury cars in an underground parking space gave us the freedom to use this material and give the project all the chances to succeed economically, culturally and to be an example of sustainability.
This choice is also one of simplicity: simplicity of facade design, simplicity of installation, simplicity of maintenance. But the choice of such a material, beyond the recognized qualities, notably good thermal inertia, confers a nobility to the places which has its importance in a district with a declared urban ambition and in full renovation. Starting from the current regulations, solid stone has shown, from building site to building site, its adaptation to contemporary techniques.
Architectural devices in stone are passive solutions allowing the use of renewable resources in a direct way. Devices allowing to valorize its resources were developed during the pre-industrial era by vernacular societies. Thus, in terms of grey energy and carbon balance, the results are very positive and compensate for the energy used for extraction, transport and installation, especially when the quarry is so close to the site!