Originally, there was an existing house on this land that was in too poor condition to be extended. It gave the way a new 5 level timber house, more comfortable and with generous volumes, and of which all the main rooms open onto the south-facing garden and are placed at a distance from the street by a winter garden forming a multifunction buffer space: this  pleasant space, which separates the public space and the private sphere, enhances the entrance and the house, and also offers extra space on sunny (and rainy) days.

Studio Name: MNM architectes
Design Team: Margot Le Duff and Matthieu Girard
Area:  158 sq.m
Year: 2019
Location: Rennes, France
Photography Credits: Stephane Chalmeau

Diamond house by MNM architectes - Sheet3
©Stephane Chalmeau

It gives direct access to the former cellar which has been preserved, and the cathedral volume is suitable for drying the nautical sails the inhabitants regularly use. The technical rooms are placed on the north side of the house and are naturally lit via the winter garden.

Diamond house by MNM architectes - Sheet5
©Stephane Chalmeau

Echoing the slate that dominates Breton roofs,the whole house is dressed in a tile shell, named “Diamond” by its manufacturer. This origami obtained by molding catches the light and multiplies the shadows.The winter garden on the street side is readable thanks to the integration of translucent glass tiles, randomly placed in facades and roofing.

Diamond house by MNM architectes - Sheet8
©Stephane Chalmeau

These, in addition to bringing brightness to the buffer space, accentuate the dynamic aspect and change the volume and reveals the wooden frame of the house. This highly worked, cut SKIN contrasts with the simplicity and compactness of the built volume. The house meets the RT2012 and is exclusively heated with a wood stove.


As two young graduate architects qualified from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Bretagne (ENSAB), Margot and Matthieu work together since 2006 on everyday architecture projects: new dwellings, extensions, refurbishments and office buildings… with an affordable and sustainable approach. They thus mainly use steel or wood frameworks.

They create an architecture that reinvents itself with each order, without formal a priori or systematic writing. Above all, they seek the well being, pleasure and astonishment of their customers through projects designed for and with them.

Respectful of the built environment, they nevertheless design resolutely contemporary spaces, which live with the times and dialogue with the site and the landscape.

Aware that the quantity of space does not always make the quality of a place, they prefer to emphasize the generosity of volumes, the importance of light and comfort, rather than superfluous elements and always in concern for energy saving.

As opposed to those who allegedly promote traditional architecture, they avoid unnecessary facing and favour raw or reclaimed materials, usually used in farm or industrial building.



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