Project title: Solaris

Recommending party
The project has been submitted by:



City: Rennes


Rue des Longs Pres


Designer or design team architects:



Plot Area: – mq

Gross Area: 9000 mq

Of which residential: 90%
Public/communal areas: 5%
Facilities for the public: 5%

Number of residential units: 104
Typology of users: families
Total building costs Euros:
Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area: 1200
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 4588. 5452 (or 4:5)
Work started on date: 2004
Work completion date: 2006


Promoter: Espacil
Allotment rule: Separate allotment
Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:
– assignement: -%
– rent: -%

Description of the project: 


Although this programme concerns social housing and facilities in the north-eastern suburbs of Rennes – 100 flats plus a community and sports centre for neighbourhood associations – the goal was to implement high quality environment solutions.
The site plan shows three separate buildings set north-south and interconnected at ground level by the community and sports centre, which lies perpendicular to them.
The elevations of the blocks of flats differ depending on the direction they face: few openings to the north, where the bedrooms are; a lot to the south, for the benefit of day- and living-room spaces. The south front also features cantilevered loggias, which in winter pre-heat the air around living rooms. They are glazed like winter gardens, and besides improving comfort they add extra floor-space. Their glazed partitions can slide wide open in summer.

This project is developed on behalf of a private developer. This one, aided by the Town of Rennes, wanted to build housing merely exemplary, as “green building”, so as to be potentially reproducible. There are not to be experimental.

So I had to integrate ecological criteria for green collective housing:
• Incorporation of the landscape,
• The environmental passivity of the building (minimization of energy, water and other forms of consumption)
• Flexibility of use…

The housing are divided into three linear buildings, facing north-south, to make the most of long fully south-facing façades. Between each building there is a dense and deciduous stip of vegetation, shady in summer and permeable in winter. So that the façades can be on the south facing very permeable to the sun, and very transparent.

The south façades and the roof are made the most of to catch the warmth of the sun. All the apartments are of the through type, and all the warmth captured on the south side can be through to the north-facing rooms channelled.

To the south, the solar capture is achieved by means of a very simple device: A cubic glass veranda, closed in winter and opened in summer. All the glass cubes are attached in a irregular way to each apartment, at an angle, or embedded.
The relation between the veranda and the apartment is always different, offering many typological configurations and new uses.

The windows run along this façade always all around the glass cubes, and seem to be attached to the cube like petals around the middle of a flower.

I tried to use in this project the qualities of the ecological materials, to create advantages to the apartments, in terms of live, comfort and pleasure.

We put down three linear buildings in a careful arrangement that preserved sightlines, channelled pedestrian flows, and focused on the greenery and water.