a/LTA architectes

Intergenerational Residence

Works, 2. June 2014
By: John Hill, a/LTA architectes
Rennes, France, 2013

Perspective from road. Image: © FOZR

a/LTA won a 2013 competition for an intergenerational residence in ZAC Beauregard-Qunicé, Rennes, France. This "city fragment" is conceived as a durable space, open and porous, lending itself to new forms of function.

The creation of a central garden provides clear and open spaces with unobstructed views for residents or passers-by alike, which gives a more fluid link between public and private space, breaking down any impression of isolation. The question of urban density and environment are distinctive elements represented in the development of the project.

South perspective. Image: © FOZR

The site (ZAC) is located in a landscape of exceptional quality. The gentle topography of the surrounding plot with its existing wooded lines, make for a very special site with a particular character that needs to be respected. The future project will highlight this character through a design of juxtaposed volumes and a play on light and transparency. We decided to integrate this "country landscape" in harmony with the overall urban plan for the area, with a strong leaning toward an atmosphere of shared space and ease of communal living.

Shared garden perspective. Image: © FOZR

The demands of the program, an intergenerational residence, are ambitious. This "particularity" is expressed architecturally through its volumetry, typology, functionality and adaptability. Our design responds to these demands using contrasts  of scale and  atmosphere. The verticality of the street façade exudes a natural eloquence and serves as an anchor point that grounds the surrounding cityscape. The specific objectives of the program, such as the common areas, the shared garden and the individual apartment terraces, are treated as "organic systems" with clear sight-lines and access towards the park and le FRAC.

Mass plan. Image: © a/LTA architectes

The principal element of the design is its smooth integration into the surrounding built and natural environment and the search for balance between urbanized and green spaces. The heart of the site is a “green” avenue which connects the various existing green spaces of Beauregard leading to the FRAC. Thus creating an interesting relationship between architecture and nature, and an environment where residents can interact.

Distribution typology diagram. Image: © a/LTA architectes

The facades have a high percentage of glazing, making for very bright living spaces and the impression of bringing the “outdoors” inside. The upper level apartments offer a shared space between two separate dwellings. This room is heated and insulated and offers a meeting area linked directly to the flats on either side. It is largely glazed and opens onto the city in the style of an artist’s studio.

Fragmentation diagram. Image: © a/LTA architectes

The façades of alternating glass and metal panels provide an urban scale appropriate for a new addition to the Beauregard skyline while at the same time allowing for the internal organizational comfort of future residents. The activity room and artist studios, which are scaled down to house size proportions and clad with Cor-ten steel, aim to pull together the outdoor activity intended for the site. These cells of activity also tie in directly with the FRAC (Odile Decq), their famous neighbor. They are designed as "follies" that slide in and out of their green surrounds.

Vegetation and porosities diagram. Image: © a/LTA architectes

The project operates a strict dichotomy between façades that are strongly urban and hard in dialogue with existing domestic façades, bringing movement to the heart of project. This architecture provides a specific identity which articulates the theme of "village in the city" the very aim of the project, offering a multitude of possibilities for exchange and interaction as people come and go.

Transverse section. Image: © a/LTA architectes

Location : ZAC Beauregard-Qunicé_Rennes (35)
Client : NEOTOA
Date : Competition 2013 (1st Prize) / ONGOING
Cost : 10.1 M€.
Area : 8.350 M² (housing + activities + artit's workshops)
Project Architect : a/LTA architectes _ le trionnaire (x2) - tassot - le chapelain (project manager A.Plantady)
Engineering : Ouest Structures + ALBDO + CDLP + Acoustibel + Desormeaux Paysagistes
Performance : BBC / RT 2012

East façade. Image: © a/LTA architectes

West façade. Image: © a/LTA architectes