Brut(e) Épaisse, nantes, France

This project of ten intergenerational and passive houses proposes a reflection about new way of living, in a rural village with a strong patrimonial heritage. This type of rural habitat offers a new form of density between the dense downtown in the west, and the sparse housing in the east. The project moves into the thickness of the site, creating housing nested in a pedestrian mesh. This form of housing promotes social interaction, and naturally manages the energy resources.

The project establishes connections with the downtown while preserving the existing green breathing. It is snipped, creating organic public spaces in its thickness. These are structured with crisp slices, treated with freestone and soft vegetable connections. The living spaces of the habitat are situated in the lower level, to preserve the privacy of the inhabitants, and to create connections with the parking and the downtown.

The partial elevation of the prairie becomes an architectural element by itself. It forms the coverage of the project and offers a support for new appropriations: walks, gardens, promotes trade and strengthens social ties between different generations of people.

The level difference is absorbed in the length of the street, hiding the entire parking lot. It offers a high place, situated in the continuity of the road used to initiate the start of the circulation alleys structuring the habitat.

The approach around the "passive", or rather sustainable habitat, concentrates on the envelope and its translation into the site. The housing unit is directly connected with the garden, and offers a real flexibility of use through its compactness. Its composition is meant to be sufficient by itself, not requiring any additional technology. The performance of the habitat is born from its interweaving in the site. The reduction of the energy needs is possible thanks to a reflection about the habitat envelope, the optimisation of space, a control of solar gains and natural lighting. The project emphasis is on the creation of living spaces.

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