Transformation of 530 dwellings

Transformation of 530 dwellings

Lacaton & Vassal

Christophe Hutin Architecture

Frédéric Druot Architecture
Bordeaux, France | View Map
Project Year
Philippe Ruault

Transformation of 530 dwellings - Grand Parc Bordeaux

Lacaton & Vassal as Architects

The project consists in the transformation of 3 modernist social housing's buildings, fully occupied. It is part of the renovation program of the 'Cité du Grand Parc' in Bordeaux. Built from the early '60s, this modernist district counts more than 4000 dwellings. The 3 buildings G, H and I, 10 to 15 floors high, gather 530 dwellings and needed a renovation after the question of their demolition has been ruled out. By their location and their layout, these buildings give a capacity of transforming into beautiful dwellings with qualities and comfort.

The project of transformation starts from the interior of the dwellings, to give new qualities to the dwellings, by investing with precision and care the existing qualities, that should be preserved, and what is missing that must be supplemented. The addition of winter gardens and balconies in the extension of the existing give the opportunity, for each apartment, to enjoy more space, more natural light, more mobility of use and more views. 

From the inside, the view on the city of Bordeaux is panoramic and unique, due to the height and to the low topography of the city. It is an extraordinary living situation. While the high-rise buildings for high-class residences are now defined as examples of a responsible housing for the future, the G, H and I buildings offer the opportunity to reach these qualities immediately, in a generous, economic and sustainable way. The general economy of the project is based on the choice of transforming the existing building without doing important interventions on the existing: the structure, the stairs or the floors and of proceeding by additions and extensions. This approach on the economy makes possible to concentrate the resources on generous extensions that are, for us, the key point to improve in a significant and sustainable way the quality and the dimension of the dwellings.

These extensions widen the space of use and the mobility inside the dwelling and give the opportunity, as in a house, to have a private outdoor space. The apartments open on to large winter gardens and balconies, and offer pleasant outdoor spaces, large enough to be fully used : 3,80m deep on the South facades for the buildings H and I buildings and the 2 façades of the building G, only composed by the mono-orientated dwellings. The existing windows are replaced by large glassed sliding doors, which connect every room of the dwelling to the winter garden.

Interior works are also planned in every dwelling as well as the renovation of the bathrooms and new electrical installation. In every staircase of 45 dwellings The 2 former elevators serving every staircase of 45 dwellings are replaced by a new bigger one and supplemented by a new elevator built to improve the vertical circulation. On ground floor, new access halls are done, more opened and transparent, and the gardens in front of the buildings are improved.The global performance of the building envelope is also improved by the addition of winter gardens and by the insulation of the North facade.

Through this project, the social housing, often criticized heritage, set an example of a relevant and economic transformation that produces - from an existing judged lacking in qualities and seen in a negative way - generous , pleasant and performing dwellings, which renew and reformulate the typologies and the conditions of  living, of comfort and of pleasure, and improve the image and attractivity of urban housing.

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