Project Info

Architects: Block Architectes
Location: Saint-Herblain, France
Co Contractors: Guinée*Potin Architectes
Engineering: Cetrac
Area: 6740.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Nicolas Pineau, Stéphane Chalmeau


The brief stands for 89 socials housings, 51 in rental and 38 in accession. The site is in an important developpement area of the Great Nantes called la Pelousière. The project tries to combine density, mixed-use and comfort for the inhabitants.


A reinvented landscape : The project is inserted and interacting with its context. A gradation between public and private has been organized through built and landscaped sequences : access ramp, public space, parking on the public space or underneath the buildings, pedestrian path, halls, housings and loggias.

The general built shape comes from an agricultural typology, that existed in the site history, a barn at the scale of the landscape. The project searches to catch this materiality of the shed, through the use of an industrial cladding material. This simple and efficient shape also drives the fiction of a large “country house”.
Then, a domestic scale is taken from the close by suburban context and integrated by the addition of wood fences and greenhouses borrowed from the garden. This sample, as a copy / paste process, reminds to the collective the sums of individuals, and shows the residential and individual dimension in a collective building that tries to escape from its usual expression.
The three buildings are “placed” on a concrete base, raised from the floor. The space in between is either open, where the parking is, or flanked by vegetated slopes in a continuity of the central plaza, integrating the buildings.

The whole project is a reinterpreted sample of the neighborhood environment, put at the scale of building.