The game of contrasts seems to define Pré Gauchet’s project: contrasts of angular and orthogonal shapes, heavy and light volumes, reflective and transparent materials, heights that vary according to their environment, and at the same time, contrasts of light and shadows.

Name of the project: Pré Gauchet
Location (city / country): 22 Rue du Pre Gauchet, Nantes, France
Total Area: 2238 m²
Built area: 5776 m² (70 apartments)
Project start year: 2012
Project completion year: 2015

Author of the architectural project and names of the team members:
Architect: Christophe Rousselle
Project manager: Jean Phillipe Marre
Architect in charge: Leo Bourgeois

Complementary designers and consultants:

Technical designs: Berim
Construction company: Eiffage
Photographer: Takiju Shimmura and Philippe Rualt

Structure: Reinforced concrete
Cladding: Thermo-lacquered steel metal plate, stainless steel slab edge, copper micro-perforated steel plate, exposed concrete
Windows: Aluminum Thermopanel with integrated blind
Railings: Metallic anthracite finish and thermo-laminated glass

Résidence Pré Gauchet, Nantes By Christophe Rousselle - Sheet3
©Takiju Shimmura

The buildings are configured as a set composed of three constructions, two of which are joined on a single lower volume, and are organized around a small public park. This space, orders them and configures a tree-lined center from where the buildings emerge. This functional ensemble creates an apparently random composition that allows the project to be integrated into its context while maintaining a singular image.

The corner is enhanced by the tallest tower, which appears as a sculpture made of misaligned plates, which deform in search of light. Within this building pre-defined as orthogonal and rational, these strips form the structure of the balconies, which, being reflective, seem immaterial. The variation generated by their angles determines, depending on where you look from, a dense and opaque image or an open and bright image.

Résidence Pré Gauchet, Nantes By Christophe Rousselle - Sheet4
©Takiju Shimmura

The facade does not block the light, but absorbs it in its interior and radiates it in the exterior, through a shining material as it is the stainless steel. When the facades are removed, the terraces appear to float above street level.

This fluid mass generates a rare lightness, which becomes palpable to the pedestrian who looks at it from the public space.

Résidence Pré Gauchet, Nantes By Christophe Rousselle - Sheet6
©Takiju Shimmura

The project accompanies its context in a classic and rational way, and generates a compact and efficient project, which seems to mutate as it increases in height until it loses its traditional orthogonality.


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