Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Multi-family housing 42 apartments in Lille, France by Coldefy & Associés Architectes Ubranistes
February 19th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Coldefy & Associés Architectes Ubranistes
The project is located on one of the many industrial redevelopment sites in this part of northern France, on the Fives Cail Babcock site in an area in full urban renewal, studied and developed by l’AUC urban planners.
The site is bordered to the west by an alley containing rows of low-rise “workers’ housing” (two stories + attic). This alley runs between rue des Rogations, located to the south of the property, and rue Pierre Legrand to the north that contains single-family houses (three stories + attic) with large gardens in the center of the block.
Facing the property on the rue des Rogations side is a sports ground and a small building, and a little farther off one finds a taller building of multi-family housing (seven stories). The street to the east of the property contains both single-family houses and several public-service buildings that make up an irregular urban fabric.
The site’s location on the corner of rue Ledru Rollin and rue des Rogations in a typologically diverse neighbourhood and the heterogeneous nature of the adjacent building masses creates an opportunity for the project to redefine its surroundings.
With its size and function the project’s urban feel aims at establishing a scale of multi-unit housing by reflecting what already exists on rue Pierre Legrand while simultaneously ensuring a transition with the immediate environment of the single-family houses.
The building sits in alignment with the public space, anchoring the corner of rue des Rogations and rue Ledru Rollin while recreating street frontage, an indispensable element in the organization of this neighborhood fabric. The intention to reestablish a more “urban” scale (six stories) while ensuring the integration of the project in its environment directed the building’s design according to two principles: verticality and porosity. Furthermore, the resulting four volumes were planned according to a varying rhythm and a roof that fluctuates in height accentuates this aim.
The ground floor, following the same intentions, creates a plinth effect around the perimeter of the building. It creates a relationship with the street scape and the neighbouring low-rise buildings, anchoring the corner of rue Ledru-Rollin with a two-story volume in order to link the project with the residential fabric and its fragmented context.
The thought given to the materiality of the volumes gives strength and texture to the whole. The building’s walls rely on a clear and elegant contrast with white, luminous tones and expressively anthracitic minerals.
Specific constituents are depicted by varying tones: white concrete for the base, the corner volume and the vertical voids, and a pattern of glazed slate tiles for the main building. Terracotta tiles with flat outer sides have been used in varying shades (enamelled grey, black and matt slate) and laid out in a random pattern that follows the geometry in its returns and slopes. The terracotta’s reflections and colours change throughout the day, depending on the sun’s angle, the precipitation and the season, constantly renewing the façade’s texture.
The building’s clad corners are treated by anthracite-grey metal edge details. These elements are rolled out horizontally and form a boxed gutter on the street side. The finesse of the metalwork creates high quality finishes along all of the façades, i.e. the vertical wall casings and the projecting window frames enhancing the rhythm of the apertures.