x tu architects: nanterre apartment block, france
x tu architects: nanterre apartment block, france
apr 30, 2013
x tu architects: nanterre apartment block, france

‘nanterre apartment block’ by x-tu architect, nanterre, france

image © renaude dessade

image courtesy of x-tu architects



a new design by nicolas de mazieres and  anouk legendre use the principals of volumetric forms to create a veritable, consolidates

architectural language. the built form takes on a graphic sensibility as it breaks down the space of the skyline in ‘ nanterre apartment blocks.’

urban terraces are deconstructed into a landscaped negative of large-scale tetris-like composition. in the context of the andre wogensky prefecture,

an area characterized by 1960’s large scale modernist blocks that emphasize space, height and geometry, the nanterre apartments absorb the

historically prefabricated and streamlined forms while cutting its volumes with vibrant color. the assembly of spaces is additionally clad in

a fritted glass facade that protects from solar heat gain and naturally ventilates in the summer.  the two sides of the complex are informed by

the movement of light in the french province; low cuts across a neighborhood street complement the higher terraces that identify the avenue decks

all while connected at a unified base. the block is completed by a network of interior circulation that leads to numerous vegetable gardens and

green roofs, a gesture which restores the domestic scale to the work and cultivates a camaraderie between neighbors.   



the buildings actively carve into the skyline

image © luc boegly



glazing and built material become almost graphic in nature

image © luc boegly



the massive apartment block is articulated by carved void space and colorful, materially sensitive cladding

image © daisy reillet



the block is at once consolidated and enormous

image © luc boegly



closer view of the exterior

image © renaude dessade



a skin of fritted glass works with color and aperture to further collapse the dimensionality of the architecture

image © luc boegly



(left): one of the reccessed terraces

image © luc boegly

(right): interior circulation

image © daisy reillet



fritted glass skin is both aesthetically pleasing and functional in preventing solar heat gain

image © luc boegly



alternate terraces jut out of the main form

image © luc boegly



lobby view

image © daisy reillet



image © daisy reillet



two hallway typologies

(left): image © luc boegly

(right): image © daisy reillet



night view of the complex

image © daisy reillet


full article here


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x-tu architects (8 articles)