Project Name: L Equatoria
Practice: Christophe Rousselle Architecte
Firm Location: France
Completion year: 2019
Gross Built up Area: 5300 sqm
Project Location: France
Lead Architects: Christophe Rousselle
Design Team: Joana Kingwell, Cristina Brezae
Clients: Aiguillon Construction
Structural Consultants: Ouest Structure
Contractors: Bati armor / Aiguillon Construction
Photo Credits: Takuji ShimmuraMore Specs
Excerpt: L Equatoria, designed by Christophe Rousselle Architecte, is a residential complex in France. The project was the winner of a competition, and the proposal submitted by their architectural office was a contrast of two buildings shaped like staggered pyramids.
(“Text as submitted by the Architects”)
This project was the winner of a competition looking for a response to the programmatic requests with certain rules: Area, typologies, and safeguard of the existing oak located in the centre of the plot.
During the competition, all the proposals were aligned only with the defined guidelines. The proposal presented by our office was really a contrast of two buildings shaped like “staggered pyramids”.
There were two clients on this project with different requests in terms of interior finishes and type of housing. One was social housing, so the idea was to propose the same architecture in order not to make a distinction and to focus the design of housing around the central tree while proposing a public crossing in the centre of the plot.
The concept was to rise as high as possible by offering different volumes on each facade. The rotation of these volumes allow the creation of non-parallel elements and opens up varied outdoor spaces depending on the floors.
For every uneven floor, we proposed a metallic gold cladding that allows highlighting this volume, while creating big outdoor spaces (3.2m) through a floating volume which reinforces the atypical volumetry of the building.
On the ground floor, the project builds a continued facade to the street, while higher up the floors some setbacks allow offering the apartments open terraces while strengthening the lightness of the structure with random openings. The rationality of floorplans, which offer a large majority of multi-orientation housing while limiting the number of elevator shafts, really helps save construction costs and maintenance.
The project, very vertical in its design, seems visually horizontal thanks to the work done every two floors including the golden metal cladding, adding the presence of exterior continuity for volumes.
On the ground floor, a commercial space allows offering a local trade in this new residential area. It was decided to create a single level of parking lots, in order to limit additional costs and be able to keep a better quality of the materials.
This project allows you to find sunlight even on the north facades thanks to the strong withdrawals of the volumes every second floor.