A6A

A6A is an architecture office based in Bordeaux, France. 

The municipal complex of Saint-Palais-sur-Mer is the first part of the large-scale urban project defined by the Town Hall: beyond the planned public buildings, including this multi-functional block, the city wishes to focus on the re- qualification of the public spaces which will connect them the beach with the lake. Mineral and plant esplanades will enliven this route punctuated by new equipment.

Our intervention favors the urban form of an independent block, prioritizing the public passages around it. The rugged topography of the site allows us to play with spaces that dominate others, occasional views of the gardens below, and with a changing volumetric cutout.

A white concrete object, which contains the projection room, dominates the project. Very closed on three of its four sides, it opens generously on the fourth, cantilevered on the shops on the ground floor. It becomes the ball joint between the public space which arrives from the beach and the large parking lot below. The green embankment accompanies spectators to the main entrance, leading them to the public balcony. This is a different space, not frozen, open to the various uses that can be imagined by the citizens.

The materials on the facade will remain raw. For the sake of constructive readability, the concretes will keep visible traces of the formwork. They will be underlined by the punctual use of steel which, through its patina, will give tones and colors which will evolve over time.

Le Spot

Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, France - 2016- 19 - With Atelier Archipel - Photography: Agnès Clotis

Les Patios

Vaux-sur-Mer, France - 2016- 19 - With Atelier Archipel - Photography: Agnès Clotis

The project take place at the crossroad of a large avenue in intense urbanization and a communal road leading to the city center. We propose an equipment whose urban scale is given by a simple form, structuring the new entry in the tertiary zone. 

The building is isolated from the public roads by a large raised garden around which the medical poles are organized. These different volumes are perfectly identifiable by their users. 

An interior gallery structures the project. Visible from the crossroads in transparency through the patios, it has three entries in direct connection with the car park. The gallery is the backbone of this equipment. It connects the four medical centers and the common premises while offering qualitative views of the garden and the patios that punctuate it.

Timelessness, durability, contextuality. We are in a country of limestone and cellars with blackened facades. Those of the project are white concrete with shades of local limestone punctuated by cladding and blinds in black saturated wood. The materials are authentic, used for their natural quality.

 
 

Vélo Cité

Vaux-sur-Mer, France - ongoing - with Atelier Archipel

Vélo Cité formalizes the link between the traditional city and the new neighborhoods developed near the Royan coast. An ensemble that integrates into the existing slope and proposes a new roofing landscape. Like the old Charente houses, cut and capped with irregular roofs, we propose a volumetric composition that marks the territory and qualifies it strongly.

A double topography drawn on the ground and in the air. It proposes rhythms in frontage based on the work of the base and its extension in the form of walls of fence. In order to establish our buildings, the boundary between the public and the private sector is materialized by these lines stretched in the landscape, on which the constructions emerge. It is built in raw concrete and becomes the support for the landscaping that links the entire project.

This materiality takes all its meaning to express the concept of evolutionary housing, applied to the scale of the individual house. We opt to differentiate the Unit (isolated and heated) from the Annex (empty hull in double height) in their expression, to signify this evolution of housing.

A reflection that starts from a questioning on the current way of “consume” housing, and our ability to “re-enchant” its programmatic and architectural design: how to remain innovative in both technical and social? It would therefore be a question of thinking about new forms of production, avoiding the standardized product that no longer fits the current households.

 

Housing in Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France - 2018 - Photography: Agnès Clotis

Repetition, rhythm and stratification seem to be some of the fundamental tools to develop a collective housing project. They lead us towards an economy of means intimately linked to a rational constructive system. An architecture that seeks clarity in its expression, and simplicity in its forms.

The project is located on an atypical site, not far from the most urban core of Bordeaux. One of the particularities of the plot is the extensive setbacks of its direct neighbors, which implies that the lateral walls of the building are very visible from the public space. Having no windows, the treatment of these nine-meter-high facades and their materiality are part of the project's keys. We choose the continuity with the facades towards the street and back: between the horizontal elements in concrete, the gray mortar used affirms the rotundity of the volumes, and confers them the desired abstract aspect.

In this way, the constructive system adopted is revealed: a succession of porticos that cross the plot from one side to the other and limit the points of support. It is a visible structural response on the façade that speaks about the place where we settled, the proximity of the Garonne, and the constructive needs inherent to this territory.

The urban lace is finally achieved thanks to the side courtyards that separate the two built bodies. They allow us to articulate the building with the neighbor, generating a gap between them that relates them with harmony.

The sobriety we would like to reach aims to single out each home through the repetition of identical elements. Thanks to the generosity of the windows facing the street, the relationship of each occupant with the outside is manifested independently, allowing us to understand this diversity within the unit of construction.

 

H-Eva

Ustaritz, France - 2017 - Photography: Agnès Clotis

Repetition, rhythm and stratification seem to be some of the fundamental tools to develop a collective housing project. They lead us towards an economy of means intimately linked to a rational constructive system. An architecture that seeks clarity in its expression, and simplicity in its forms.

The project is located on an atypical site, not far from the most urban core of Bordeaux. One of the particularities of the plot is the extensive setbacks of its direct neighbors, which implies that the lateral walls of the building are very visible from the public space. Having no windows, the treatment of these nine-meter-high facades and their materiality are part of the project's keys. We choose the continuity with the facades towards the street and back: between the horizontal elements in concrete, the gray mortar used affirms the rotundity of the volumes, and confers them the desired abstract aspect.

In this way, the constructive system adopted is revealed: a succession of porticos that cross the plot from one side to the other and limit the points of support. It is a visible structural response on the façade that speaks about the place where we settled, the proximity of the Garonne, and the constructive needs inherent to this territory.

The urban lace is finally achieved thanks to the side courtyards that separate the two built bodies. They allow us to articulate the building with the neighbor, generating a gap between them that relates them with harmony.

The sobriety we would like to reach aims to single out each home through the repetition of identical elements. Thanks to the generosity of the windows facing the street, the relationship of each occupant with the outside is manifested independently, allowing us to understand this diversity within the unit of construction.

 

House in Pontaillac

Royan, France - 2018 Photography: Agnès Clotis

"To build is to shelter. Raising walls to protect, and put a roof over, make shade." Pierre Lajus.

 

Building a detached house nowadays, and particularly in the Royan region, a territory marked by the arrival of the modern movement during the 1950s, represents an architectural exercise in its own right.

The interest is not to bend to an aesthetic or a dogma, but rather to take advantage of this opportunity to better understand its vocabulary and codes. They go well beyond a façade work, and very often push the drawing towards a great intelligence in plan and a strong flexibility in the ways of appropriating it.

We wanted to work an architecture that opens with measure, controlling the light. From this desire comes a frank project, heavy. Surrounded by notions as stereotomy, thickness and gravity. The concrete block is coated with white, to catch this light from the ocean, and only the floor and rooftop elements appear in its true raw nature. This gray concrete marks two broad, horizontal lines, anchoring the building further in the ground.

 
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