mervau saint gilles croix de vie france by tetrarc architects mervau saint gilles croix de vie france by tetrarc architects
dec 13, 2012

mervau saint gilles croix de vie france by tetrarc architects

‘mervau saint gilles croix’ de vie france by tetrarc architectsview of the front façade


in order to demonstrate that an urban renovation can be fused with the existing structure rather than traumatising it, french tetrarc architects seizes the opportunity for a consultation with vendée habitat: the regional social housing office is planning to tear down roughly ten dilapidated small houses dating from the 1960s erected on a site measuring 3,553 m2 in order to build 36 comfortable housing units to be occupied by more than one hundred people. instead of erecting horizontal or vertical structures at odds with a sensitive urban environment, the studio is proposing to establish a small village in order to ensure urban continuity whilst giving occupancy of the plot of land to 101 housing units, forming a strong interiority beneficial to the development of social interaction between residents.


this approach requires that a careful response be given to each urban micro context – this will avoid any mass effect by favouring a perpendicular settlement, providing a vista on a street by opening up an alley along its line; thereby retaining the peaceful nature of residents’ houses by placing access to the parking areas in a buffer between the gardens and the new community. the arrangement has the added advantage of aligning housing with public space to the palpable diversity of collective spaces.



crossing lane, entrance houses



offering the residents the opportunity of having social facilities: children’s playground facilities, neighbourhood contact, shared publicfestivities… all elements of a socially active population.separating boundaries, the enclosure of small gardens, house doorways, handrails, ramps and balustrades are designed with exceptional care. letter boxes and electricity meters are fitted into the scheme with extreme care.the sun shading equipment is in the form of playful vernacular designs, seeming as the housing appears as cast shadows, an allusion tothe pine trees in the vendée forests. 



back façade






entrance from back lane



façade and balcony










mass plan



project information:

competition: 2012study: 2009/10

building surface: 2757sqm housing surface: T2 (53m2), T3 (66m2), T4 (85 m2), townhouse (95 m2)

architect: tetrarc architectsproject manager: claude jolly

project director: josselin bourneuf

client: vendee habitat



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