Collective Housing at ÎLE de Nantes



Collective Housing at Ile de Nantes, Atelier Maxime Schmitt Architecte WATCH INSTAGRAM


CONTEXT Indulging in the Sunday pleasure of idleness, a couple observes the effervescence of the Parvis des Nefs. The big elephant leaves the Galerie des Machines. Its gears animate the imposing pachyderm and fascinate young and old. The children are playing. The teens congregate around the benches, and further on, a street fitness session brings together around fifty people. On the horizon, the merry-go-round of the Mondes Marins and the titanic yellow crane punctuate the landscape with their fascinating curiosity. Vast public spaces with evocative names such as the Jardin des Berges, the Jardin des Voyages, the Esplanade des Traceurs de Coques, the Parc des Chantiers, the Terrasse des Vents make up the panorama of the old shipyards of île de Nantes. The backdrop to this attractive landscape, the Boulevard Léon Bureau is declined in a heterogeneous building, rich in contrasts and surprises. Small suburban-style houses sit alongside an old blockhaus, large industrial rights-of-way, witnesses of island history, adjoin new operations just emerging from the ground. The voids between the buildings reveal the constructive dynamism of the Creation district which develops in the depths. READ: CHILDREN’S CENTRE
01 location plan


On the border between the new Creation district and the Parc des Chantiers, Boulevard Léon Bureau occupies a strategic position and develops a skyline made up of horizontality and emergence, symbols of the île de Nantes. The Hindigo plot, named after the warehouse which still occupies the land, is developing in-depth and will offer its little side to Boulevard Léon Bureau, thus allowing it to assert a more marked verticality. Backing onto a suburban house with discreet moldings and slightly deviating from the DY10 blockhaus, a converted vestige of the Second World War, our project will forge a horizontal link between these two iconic constructions and will affirm its difference through a vertical and light emergence. This is where our dual ambition lies, that of creating a strong architecture combined with soft insertion .A soft insertion by taking the low volumetry of the townhouses and the Blockhaus on the boulevard. Collective housing ÎLE Nantes
A soft insertion by using materials already present on the site such as dark concrete and wood.
A soft insertion by working a massive and hollowed base where shops and halls will slip into.
A soft insertion by having large terraces planted above the base where families can fully enjoy this sunny site.
A soft insertion by shifting the volume high so that it does not appear much in the perspective of the boulevard.
A strong architecture by affirming two simple and separate volumes: the base and the emergence.
A strong architecture by developing high facades with marked mode nature and low smooth and discreet facades.
A strong architecture by adopting a principle of progressiveness in height and width of the windows to assert a building soaring towards the sky, thus increasing its verticality.
A strong architecture containing all the exterior spaces of the dwellings in the built volume by the creation of winter gardens.
A strong architecture by offering housing with very open functioning and multiple uses around a wet core, offering everyone maximum appropriation. – Collective housing ÎLE Nantes
A strong and demanding architecture so that everyone can live the softest possible life.
01 Massive basement
02 Slight emergence

collective housing at ile de nantes

PLANSPlans of levels 3-5-6 Habitability and uses – Collective housing ÎLE Nantes
The living rooms (sitting room and kitchen) and the bedrooms are organized on either side of a multipurpose core within which are grouped the utility rooms (bathroom, WC, computer corner, pantry). The possibilities of partitioning or dividing around this core are diverse and offer a “space +”, which each can adapt according to their desires and specific needs (dressing room, computer space, ironing area, storage, etc.). Simple and functional, these typologies allow multiple appropriations, personalization of housing, or rearrangement of habits.

collective housing at ile de nantes
01 plan of a 3 pieces apptEmergence
The facades of the volume resting on the concrete basement are made of a thick colonnade of hardwood painted in ocher color. This horizontal and vertical colonnade organizes all the mode nature of the facades. The long facades consist of 5 bays. Thus in a bay, we go from 6 modules to 5 modules and 3 modules in the last level. This decrease in the number of modules associated with the increase in the heights of the modules gives an impression of progression towards the sky, giving the building slenderness and natural elegance. These elements are not structural and are separate from the supporting structure of the building. The infill elements of these modules are either full-height glazing or powder-coated aluminum panels in shadow gray, thus adopting the color perceived by the glazing during the day. Work on the embrasures of the bays was carried out to further increase the principle of progressivity towards the sky. 

01 frames, embrasures, and thicknesses of the facades

TOPICS COVEREDWork on heights and materialThe basement, by its concrete and stained material of dark color, corresponds to the blockhaus DY10. In addition, its height refers both to the neighboring suburban fabric and to this military vestige. Emergence, for its part, through its sober and refined grid architecture, dialogues with contemporary projects located nearby. A “townhouse” morphology
The volumetry of the front part of the base (which rises to 2 levels) evokes the morphology of a “townhouse” and is part of the continuity of the suburban houses to which it leans. The inhabited terraces
The roof terrace of the “townhouse” is divided into three large terraces enjoying a breathtaking view of the Parc des Chantiers and the Loire River. They weave a visual relationship with the boulevard and attract the attention of passers-by with their plantations and their animation. You can call, say hello, chat with your neighbor and offer him a glass of lemonade in the shade of a parasol. An active ground floor
On the boulevard side, the ground floor is mainly occupied by a space of approximately 170m² which will be dedicated to a commercial or catering activity. This program will complete and continue the series of small shops and restaurants already present on the islet. Between the ground floor, set back from the Harmonie Mutuelle building and the opaque one of DY10 Blockhaus, the activities of our basement are an essential asset for the liveliness of the boulevard. Careful treatment of angles
The two angles (Boulevard Léon Bureau side and Rue Sourdeac side) are glazed and open, transparent or opalescent. They let you see or guess the programs they house (shop/restaurant on one side, bicycle storage on the other), breathe life into the public space, and turn around to follow the paths of walkers.A passage designed as a meeting place
The lane unfolds in the following sequence which alternates transparency and opacity: local activity, service block, entrance hall to housing, service block, bicycle room. In this place where everyone’s daily journeys meet, the project offers porosities and spaces that promote exchanges and discussions between neighbors. The alley becomes a place of life and inhabited passage. CONSTRUCTION DETAIL

01 Construction detail – section in a bay
02 Construction detail – section in a solid part

01 Constructive detail – zoom on a slab nose
02 Construction detail – plan view

01 model

01 Photos of wooden model 1/20 04 180x70x26cm
02 wooden model 1/20

collective housing at ile de nantes

MAIN FEATURES: 27 collective family dwellings including 19 in free access and 8 in the social rental loan.
Car park with 18 spaces and 180 m² stores on the ground floor.
Individual winter gardens and shared collective spaces on each level allowing natural lighting of common areas and neighborhood meetings.
Housing organized around a central wet core integrating laundry room and office space for teleworking in front.CONTRACTOR: Atelier Maxime Schmitt Architecte (Mandatory Architect and Wood Engineer), Serbia (Structural Engineer), Naonec (Economist), Enertia (Fluids Engineer), Linkibat (Site Pilot)CLIENT: Bouygues Immobilier AtlantiquePROJECT ADDRESS: 5 rue Léon Bureau – Île de Nantes – 44000 Nantes (FRANCE)
1500 m² of floor area, 1385 m² of living space area, 250 m² of winter gardens, 180 m² of shops.
Cost of works: 3,340kE 2019 value including demolition and special foundations.
Competition February 2016 – delivered December 2019
Photographs @ Stephane Chalmeau

Entrance halls

Common parts

Durability Flexibility
Mixed wood-concrete structure combining the advantages of concrete slabs and the prefabrication of wood-frame walls, our project is part of a chosen durability to which the client was convinced. All the dividing lines for the housing units are made of plaster acoustic partitions, the timber frame and framework of the semi-curtain mantle walls are in French spruce, the wooden thorns and cornices on the facade are in French Douglas fir painted in the factory on 6 sides with decennial warranty. In addition, the post-slab structure (without beam fallout) allows significant adaptability of the project. One can imagine the grouping of several apartments to increase their surfaces without structural work. Blackouts
Concerning the blackout system, a system of external blinds with orientable slats in dark lacquered aluminum will be installed for the bedrooms and masked by a painted hardwood lintel identical to the colonnade of the facades. Beyond this function, this lintel, present in front of all the bays (including those entirely full) emphasizes the mode nature of the facades and asserts a little more the horizontals while reducing their shadow. The hierarchy between masses and shadows is organized to offer a subtle facade, with soft and strong architecture. Winter gardens
Winter gardens are positioned as an extension of the accommodation, particularly at the south and west angles. These winter gardens are treated as a continuation of the windows of the apartments and open with a French leaf (single glazing). As the project is progressing, no blackout system is planned for these winter gardens, but the painted hardwood lintel forming a molding will make it possible to hide a blind system if necessary in the future. These winter gardens are neither heated nor insulated and are naturally ventilated.

collective housing at ile de nantes

Constituted around different experiences relating to architectural and urban practice and analysis, Atelier Maxime Schmitt Architecte, has developed its activity from a reflection and a committed practice next to urban issues current.

Our attention and our work are marked by a particular attachment to housing issues and public facilities. This commitment goes through a deep conviction that a virtuous architecture, federating urban and social links is possible and necessary.

From subject to subject, from place to place, the work of Atelier Maxime Schmitt Architecte is positioned at the urban scale towards an integration of the project into the site, in the perspective of the present elements: local urban typologies, neighboring built forms, traditional materials, secular know-how. By a contextually adapted contemporary rewriting and a work of right measure carried to the built scales, the freshly designed buildings and the old framework enter into resonance and reciprocally enhance each other. The city merges with contemporary, assertive architecture.

By deciphering the limits of the habitat models bequeathed by a century of unparalleled urban development, the workshop attempts to construct responses renewing the terms of a debate where the link between individual and common sense, between privacy and public place, presupposes the search for new models of density and aggregation that would convey the values of shared landscapes. Collective housing ÎLE Nantes