CES / Cesson-Sévigné Housing

 

Cesson-Sévigné Housing is a 7 floor residential development located in a newly developed district of Rennes, France. The development houses two main functions: the residential units, displayed in a ‘U’ shaped morphology around a central green house, which in turn carries the function of a co-owned social gathering space. Moreover, by virtue of its terraced morphology developed around the ‘U’ shaped footprint, the building is integrated softly in the surrounding urban context. Hence, the building seems to incline until it reaches the public space on the ground floor on Rue de la Rigourdière, welcoming residents and visitors alike.

The vision for the apartments was to make maximum use of natural daylight and passive heating strategies. Moreover, the terracing morphology favors the displacement of generous terraces towards the South, maximizing sun exposure. The internal layout of the apartments supports the idea of the social household, by increasing the size of the common spaces such as kitchens and living rooms, encouraging families to interact and engage in everyday activities.

The U-shaped massing frees up a large volume of open ground in the center of the project, area occupied by the greenhouse. The greenhouse fully asserts its horticultural character, with its raw galvanized steel structure. These raw features are softened by the abundant vegetation and the warmth of the wooden decks. Furthermore, the greenhouse acts as a social space, gathering all inhabitants together and bringing a sense of community to the residents. The vegetation chosen for the greenhouse changes with the season, being a reflective example of permaculture. Hence, the greenhouse acts not only as a gathering place, but also as a teaching place where children can learn about horticulture.