MVRDV shapes housing complex as geological formation in rennes, france

MVRDV shapes housing complex as geological formation in rennes, france

much-needed housing for a growing city

 

The architects at MVRDV presents the newly completed ‘Ascension Paysagère’ housing complex in Rennes, a city in the northwest of France. The project is realized with co-architects ALL for real estate developer Groupe Giboire, and is sited at the confluence of two rivers, the threshold between the center and its outer reaches. Rising twelve-stories and covering 10,550 square-meters, the project introduces much-needed density to the growing French city. Thus, it provides 138 homes across a range of sizes and prices — including thirty-seven units of social housing. In addition, the work introduces new commercial and public spaces, all along a landscaped riverfront.

mvrdv rennes france
images © Ossip van Duivenbode | @ossipvanduivenbode

 

 

the densification of Rennes, france

 

MVRDV introduces its Ascension Paysagère to Rennes, France at a time of rapid growth. The architects note that the city’s central heritage buildings have shifted this expansion pressure outwards, calling for ‘the periphery to grow either outwards into the countryside or — preferably — upwards with a pleasant approach to densification.’ With its highly visible location along the confluence of the Ille River and the Vilaine, the project ‘required an exemplary approach to this perimeter densification.’

mvrdv rennes france

 

 

mvrdv’s influence from geological formations

 

With the design of its Ascension Paysagère residences in Rennes, France MVRDV took inspiration from geological formations. The team explains: ‘The project comprises two curving buildings, one large and one small, with gradually receding slopes. By the river, and at points where the project approaches its neighbors, the buildings are low, acknowledging the expansive, low-rise context.

 

‘Elsewhere, the design gradually steps up into three peaks, reaching the maximum twelve-story height in the center of the site. The terraces created by these gradual step-backs are decked with pots filled with greenery, extending the lush atmosphere of the riverbank upwards to the apartments even at the very top of the building. On the western corner of the larger block, in between the building’s two ‘peaks’, a garden including fruit trees emphasizes this green approach.’

mvrdv rennes france

 

 

the ceramic facade

 

‘The façade reinforces the connection to geology. It features both matte and glossy ceramic panels in five different tones of grey, arranged into stratified layers: dark and mostly matte near to ground level, and lighter and glossier at the top levels.

 

‘At night, lighting reinforces this effect, with more lights integrated into the ceramic panels at the top of the building. As a result, the design seems as if it truly belongs – an outgrowth of the environment itself, which feels natural even as it significantly densifies this part of the city.’

mvrdv rennes france

 

 

inside the housing complex

 

Each apartment opens up with its own outdoor space — be it a terrace, a balcony, or a loggia. ‘Each of these comes complete with custom plant pots fitted with automatic irrigation as well as a dedicated water tap to help residents care for their piece of the landscape. The terraces create a village-like atmosphere that allows residents to greet their neighbors above and below.’

 

At the level of the street, the building’s curves wrap to define pockets of public space, ‘with a green pedestrian street between the two blocks and a plaza at the water’s edge that leads to Le Bacchus, a restaurant and theatre that is embraced by the curve of the larger building.’

 

The larger building’s entrances are take shape as three welcoming passageways, clad in timber, which project through the building to create large gathering spaces, views, and access to a secluded garden behind the theater-restaurant. ‘At the entrance to the site, a renovated former tax office is included in the urban plan, making the public square a mix of three architectural periods.’

mvrdv rennes france

 

 

‘The project uses a variety of approaches to ensure sustainability and social responsibility. Densifying an urban area reduces the city’s need to expand into the surrounding landscape, and the parking garages include a total of 210 square meters for bicycle parking, including dedicated spaces for cargo bicycles and electric charging stations to encourage more sustainable transport options.

 

‘The thirty-four apartments of the smaller building are completed to Passivhaus standards, giving them the potential to use dramatically less energy than typical apartments. Many of the apartments are double or even triple aspect, with windows on multiple sides of the building to allow cross ventilation and excellent natural light conditions inside.’

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‘A diverse range of apartment types is spread throughout the building, including thirty-seven homes for social rent and forty-two for sale as affordable housing, ensuring that the project offers something for people of all income levels and family sizes. The communal spaces in the buildings feature high-standard finishes and are open to all residents, treating every occupant equally regardless of the price or type of their apartment.

 

‘With the green surroundings, the location on the water, and the beautiful outdoor spaces, Ascension Paysagère is poised to further add to the livability of Rennes, and can serve as a demonstration of how the city can meet its current housing demand.’

mvrdv rennes france

 

 

 

MVRDV founding partner Nathalie de Vries comments:In Ascension Paysagère, we have delivered a project just as we hoped it would be, and exactly what is needed in this location. With the river and the park opposite, the site offers a wonderful location for people to live.

 

The challenge was to allow as many people as possible to live here without destroying those qualities. We do this by creating an ensemble of two buildings with silhouettes like small hills, covered with terraces and balconies to allow the inhabitants nice outdoor spaces that are already provided with large pots for plants and trees.’

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project info:

 

project title: Ascension Paysagère

architecture: MVRDV | @mvrdv

location: Rennes, France

photography: © Ossip van Duivenbode | @ossipvanduivenbode

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