Scala Housing / AQMA

Architects: AQMA
Area: 1000 m²
Year: 2023
Photography: Jean Baptiste Thiriet​
Structure Engineers: Stebat
MEP & HVAC Consultant: Adret
Global Project Design: Matthias Aguilar, Amandine Quillent, Agnès Rigault
City: Grenoble
Country: France

Scala Housing designed by AQMA in Grenoble has transformed the urban landscape with its innovative residential design. Completed in 2023, this project spans 1000 m² and integrates seamlessly into its surroundings, optimizing sunlight and providing generous outdoor spaces for all units.

Scala housing / aqma

The Scala project, by AQMA, is located at the edge of ZAC Presqu’ile in Grenoble, set against a mountainous backdrop. The plot, at the corner of Rue de Nantes and Winston Churchill, forms a south-facing point, giving it a unique character. The project leverages this prime location, adhering to urban prescriptions while organizing volumetrics to interact with the surrounding and future buildings along the block’s central traverse.

Scala houses 16 units across 7 levels, with a design that engages its environment and continues the neighboring buildings’ lines, offering views of the broader landscape. The building, considered the “figurehead” of the neighborhood, features stepped volumetrics (from R+1 to R+6) to maximize sunlight and provide ample outdoor spaces. A break in the street facade creates an event and a gap in the linearity.

Scala housing / aqma

A key design principle is the external extension of spaces: terraces and balconies integrate into gaps and facade corners, offering protected outdoor areas and double-height spaces. This enhances the architectural uniqueness of the prow and offers varied views for each apartment. The ground floor is open, housing the entrance, service area, circulation core, and bicycle storage, with full-height wooden slats serving as partitions, creating a connection between the exterior and interior. The project prioritizes high-quality living environments and diverse living modes, with careful attention to housing orientation and typologies, ranging from T2 to T5. Each unit has at least dual orientation, with the T3 and T4 units at the tip offering triple orientation. Common areas are naturally lit and bright.

Despite a tight budget, the project aimed to minimize material use and reduce its carbon footprint, avoiding unnecessary decorative elements and instead featuring large windows to capture views of the mountainous and urban landscape. The building’s body comprises structural concrete, finished with a common white paint and a portion covered with a glittery terra cotta glaze that changes with the weather. This simple, elegant design integrates seamlessly into its environment, emphasizing cut volumes and generous openings.

Scala housing / aqma
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Rue de Nantes, Grenoble 38000, France

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