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Eco-Sustainable House, Antony-Paris, France

Friday 16 Dec 2011

No need to knock on wood

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French architects Djuric Tardio design a two-storey house, constructed entirely from Finnish larch 

Antony-Paris is an example of the belief that architecture, whether heterogeneous and homogeneous, is shaped by outdated zoning regulations. The urban rules and the site context, which is very typical, have suggested the template, which has proved a real asset to the project.

The shape of the roof/pergola, which looks like an unfinished roof, has a specific function. On the one hand, it takes the archetype of the context, inserting the project in its environment without disrupting the urban rhythm; on the other hand, it won't accommodate a closed roof that would become a catch-all attic or a wasted space. So the architects have inserted inhabitants in it, and have left it open by transforming it into a vegetable terrace, intimate and sunny. The choice of plants proposed by the landscape designer, grasses and vines on the pergola offering fruits (kiwis, squashes, grapes), will enable the owners to enjoy a vegetable/suspended garden.

The programme was for a blended family, calling for a flexible, modular design and design process. The answer was to instill two areas, separated but and overlapping. With very few adjustments, these two areas could become one larger, combined space. Eco-Sustainable Construction System completely built in wood panels placed on a pedestal as the ground is very bad, the house is completely prefabricated in a workshop and delivered to the site to be finally assembled in just two weeks.

This is a building system in Finnish wood panels that come from sustainably managed cooperatives of small private forest owners. The pre-cut panels, supplemented by wood fiber insulation and non-treated siding, arrived at the site almost finished, reducing pollution to a minimum (the site being located in a dense suburb). The patios and the south façades, deliberately oversized, capture the sun in winter and are sheltered by a canopy and a pergola in summer. The main facade on the street, lodging the rooms in the north, is a composition of large glazed openings and single opening shutters designed in stainless steel mirror with no glazing. The reflections of the vegetation and the movement of these shutters in stainless steel mirrors make the façade changing. The ventilation of the rooms is regulated by the openings of the shutters, and the penetration of light through the windows. The recovery of rainwater can water the garden and planters allow homeowners to cultivate aromatic plants and garden without water over-consumption.

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