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Housing Renovation in Bordeaux with Winter Gardens

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French Bureau Lacaton & Vassal implements a project on renovation of three buildings for social housing in Bordeaux. In 1996, the municipality initiated a program for the development called “Bordeaux 2030″, aimed at improving the quality of urban environment.

Lacaton & Vassal to Build Indoor Winter Gardens in Bordeaux

An apartment befor the reconstruction

An apartment before the reconstruction

Reconstruction of housing in the Cité du Grand Parc is one of its final stages. Lacaton & Vassal won the competition to design the renovation of residential buildings in 2011. They have had a successful reconstruction projects of social housing in Paris and Saint-Nazaire.

The houses G («Gounod»), H («Handel”) and I («Ingres”) contain a total of 530 apartments. The total number of apartments to be reconstructed in Cité du Grand Parc is 2300.

The architects chose their proven approach – extension of existing building by constructing of an additional room for the winter garden. With this approach the Bureau successfully reconstructed the tower “Tour Bois le Prêtre” in 2007-2011 in the north of Paris. And that time their project was awarded a prestigious architectural award. As a result of a similar decision in Bordeaux the width of housings H and I will increase by nearly 16 ft : 12 ft of the winter garden and 4 ft of outdoor balcony; and the width of the G housing will increase by about 31 ft. The difference is that the buildings H and I will have additions only to the southern facade, offering panoramic views of the city; and the G building will increase on both sides, west and east.

An apartment after the reconstruction

An apartment after the reconstruction

Existing 126 ft2 of total area of ​​three buildings will become 223 ft2 after the reconstruction. Each apartment will receive additional space suitable for full use. According to the authors of the project, despite considerable depth extension, the interior will not be dark, but rather filled with light: the windows will increase significantly (they will turn into balcony doors), moreover, the facades will not be dimmed by the surrounding buildings.

Winter gardens will create a favorable bioclimatic environment in the apartments and raise the houses’ energy efficiency, playing the role of insulation. The gardens will be fully glazed and closed as needed by vertical blinds.

Building structure proved to be very suitable for such transformations. The architects did not have to change any design of the load-bearing walls or stairwells. Therefore, the project was economically beneficial, and all the facilities were aimed at creating an extension on the facades.

In addition to the winter gardens, the project includes a partial redecoration and renovation of bathrooms. To improve the functional efficiency it is assumed to reorganize the entrance lobby and vertical circulation in the building. The changes will affect the gardens on the houses land plots – access to them will be easier. Architects offer residents an open, free and bright space, designed to make life comfortable.

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Alicia Kim

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