Project Name: Pre Gauchet
Practice: Christophe Rousselle Architecte
Firm Location: France
Completion year: 2015
Gross Built up Area: 5776 sqm
Project Location: 22 Rue du Pre Gauchet, Nantes, France
Lead Architects: Christophe Rousselle
Design Team: Leo Bourgeois
Project Manager: Jean Phillipe Marre
Photo Credits: Takiju Shimmura and Philippe RualtMore Specs
Excerpt: Pre Gauchet, designed by Christophe Rousselle Architecte, is a residential project in France that can be defined as a game of contrasts. 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.
(“Text as submitted by the Architect”)
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.
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 centre 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.
The facade does not block the light, but absorbs it in its interior and radiates it in the exterior, through a shining material as 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.
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.