Recommending party
The project has been submitted by:

KAGAN Architecture



Country: France

City:  Rennes



Designer or design team architects:

KAGAN Architecture


Lot surface area: 2538 m2

Total area of the project: 8410 m2

Of which residential: 6246 m2
Public/communal areas: 490 m2
Facilities for the public: 207 m2
Business/trade: – m2
Offices: – m2

Number of residential units: 83
Typology of users: families

Construction costs (euro/square metre): 533,715  €/m2

Work started on date: 2002
Work completion date: 2003


Promoter: Groupe Giboire
Owner: OCDL, Group Giboire

Description of the project:

The housing project in Rennes, is indicative of quality urban development initiated by the city and contracted by the private sector. The project structures a major entrance of Rennes, in confering an urban presence at the intersection of Canal d’Ille et Rance, and the route going towards St. Malo, as an entrance demarcating a strong front facing the canal and at the bridge, all the while managing the corner of the intersection with transparency. In a strategy of consolidation of the urban fabric, it identifies the existing fabric and configures new limits for it; the project proposes a strong architecture of integration in a splintered urban context. The edifice takes advantage of its remarkable situation on the banks of the Canal d’Ille et Rance, and proposes a typology of apartments that highlight open floor plan apartments and terraces, thanks to a layout distributed by a system of passageways. The choice of a systematic distribution by passageways permits one to respond to the durable development objectives while paying particular attention to the social atmosphere of the building and its environment. Actually, they constitute spaces for conviviality, meeting places, allowing for easy human contact. The terraces run the length of the living rooms: these are spaces to live in, that offer a unique panorama of the city and the canal. The last two stories of the building are duplex apartments, like houses on the roof made up of a crowning attic. The structural framework of 6,10 meters provides a constructive economy and a flexibility of layout for the apartments. This framework is made up of a lattice on the façade which rhymes with the façade of shadows and light, and results in an “in-between space” between interior and exterior, that is at one and the same time the expression of the internal function, all the while assuring the presence of a strong front facing the canal, giving a new identity to the neighborhood.

The structure was constructed in white and gray prefabricated concrete, highlighted with unrefined concrete elements and with panels stained with a dark sienna brown color, recalling the local sandstone, with fine joinery in a brown aluminium, resulting in a noble esthetic, assured and elegant on the façade, within an economical budget. At the same time, the use of elements, such as the constructive grid in concrete, the cubic volumes of the bedrooms, the panels of glass blocks, creates an abstract composition and studied lines and proportions that participate in the establishment of an appropriate urban scale, and assure the connection of the structure to its near and distant environment. The number of materials used was limited voluntarily with a concern for restraint contributing to the elaboration of a simple architectonic, contemporary and timeless. The authenticity of the materials, in what they are used for and in putting them to use, the quality of the spaces and their articulation, the precise and pertinent urban scale, are the principal characteristics of this operation, which favor an architecture at once noble and durable, but also convivial and appropriate.