Our society is undergoing profound changes, both in terms of climate context and the way we live and inhabit, and this project is an opportunity to change our practices for a more sustainable way of life. This project is part of a strong ecological approach through the conservation of the existing building, the choice of ecofriendly materials and by reusing building materials. The proposed apartments are adapted to today’s households (couple without children, single people, etc.) in the way that they are qualitative spaces but deliberately small. This, following the example of the emergent lifestyle of “Co-living”, allows to share wide spaces that are usually missing in conventional collective dwellings, in order to enrich housing and social interactions.
The building becomes a key player in the neighborhood thanks to its base that is largely occupied by public functions, like the community hall, the workshops and the coworking spaces. A section of the façade opens itself to make these spaces visible from the outside and the appeal of the large hall is reinforced by its double height, thus becoming the spokesperson for the communal vision that animates the building.
Through a series of thresholds, the resident leaves the public part of the building to enter the semi-private domain. Generous common areas at the back of the building welcome them and can be arranged and programmed according to the residents’ wishes. Finally, the tenant regains the private sphere of his apartment, south-facing with large bay windows offering view and light.
The apartments are extended by pleasant winter gardens that enlarge the living area along the rhythm of the seasons and allow each tenant to enjoy a private outdoor space. The winter gardens make intelligent use of the original glazing of the façade, otherwise destined for landfill, and ensure indoor thermal comfort.
The separations between the apartments are made of masonry to meet today’s acoustic comfort requirements. From then on, these walls are made load-bearing and thus allow the installation of a new structural framework more favorable for the slabs. This allows the existing very thin slabs to continue to fulfil their function without reinforcements, despite the increased loads - in particular due to the new screeds and the greening of the roof.
The roof, planted with local and adapted plants, improves summer comfort and promotes biodiversity of flora and fauna in the city. Part of the roof, as well as the southern façade, are equipped with photovoltaic panels to cover the building’s electricity needs (lighting, Mobility car charging station, etc.).
The option chosen by the client to transform the building while keeping the current structure requires a large dismantling action, which, contrary to total demolition, offers a good potential for reuse of materials in the project, and therefore the saving of materials, transport and waste. The early conversion of part of the garage into workshops would make it possible to transform, adapt and store part of the building materials for reuse during the project.
The new materials required are selected on the basis of a principle of ecological sustainability characterised by reused, recycled or bio-sourced materials and will be employed as much as possible in a dismountable and separable way, for example by nailing/screwing rather than gluing.