In May, 2016, NOMADE Architectes delivered 66 units of rental social housing and an underground car park in Bonneuil sur Marne on behalf of EXPANDIEL, part of the VALOPHIS HABITAT Group
This building occupies a strategic position and acts as a transition between the surrounding houses and the taller building of the ZAC République. The buildings’ location is a real advantage, for it creates a genuine urban intersection that leaves room for future construction. With its nearness to major roads leading to the town center, the installation of the tramway and the extension of metro line no. 8 it is not hard to imagine the enthusiasm for this new housing.
The project has attempted to restore the combination of Bonneuil’s wishes with the architectural brief so as to create a contextual, sober, dynamic, elegant and contemporary architecture. It stands on a narrow, L-shaped, steeply sloping tract of land. The building has been broken up to lend breathing space and to reflect the housing pattern around it. The building stretches over three plots, two of which run along two newly created roads and a middle corner plot.
From the northwestern side of the tract, the building’s volumes echo a four-level residential building. The varying levels let in light and provide breathing space for the building’s skyline. By using varying sizes, the urban shapes on the site dialogue between themselves and create architectural unity.
Organizational comfort and features
NOMADE Architectes embraced the idea of having differing housing typologies co-inhabit the same central staircase so as to encourage blending in all stairwells.
The majority of the apartments are walk-through with the interplay of hollows offering double exposure. The inside organization of the units and dimensioning of various spaces have been designed so as to meet the specifications.
Insofar as possible, the living rooms face the south and west in order to benefit from a large amount of sunlight. The length/ width relationship and the double exposures enable a maximum penetration of light to the very heart of the apartments. And the living rooms systematically open onto external extensions so as to increase dweller comfort. Inhabitants’ visual pleasure has been enhanced with views onto the inner courtyard and gardens at the foot of the buildings.
The sound comfort of the apartments has been optimized by the thickness of the walls and floors. Natural ventilation has been arranged to a maximum for all places where dampness may accumulate.
Attention to the environment
The project was also designed to keep the environment in mind in the following ways:
– reducing monthly costs with low window emissivity and low consumption lights in the common areas
– reducing annual costs: maintenance and upkeep costs by selecting long-lasting materials and simple implementation
– a building that is environment-friendly: a clean worksite and an integrated choice in building materials
– Creating a pleasant landscape in the inner courtyard
– rainwater retention with landscaped garden roofs
The building is insulated on the outside to ensure optimal energy performances (doing away with thermal bridges). The environmental intentions are achieved by creating terraced roofs with gardens to retain rainwater, temperature phase shift and greater inertia that ensures visual comfort and adjusts the spikes of rainwater run-off.
Materials and architectural identity: A lasting image
The materials used give the building a sense of lastingness. The use of the same lasting and timeless material – bricks – has been applied to the buildings to give them a contemporary look.
– using bricks alternating with a white paint gives the building an urbane, elegant and sober look
– the protrusions are covered with gray brick while the hollows and rear are painted white
The simplicity of the building system (pillars and slabs) made it possible to promote a broader financial envelope with the intention of implementing lasting, resistant wall materials that enhance its handsome appearance.
Location: Bonneuil sur Marne, France
Area: 3,879 sqm
Architects: NOMADE Architectes
Photographs: Patrick H Müller