House extension in Nantes, France. The extension was designed by Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire as an addition to their own home, which had become too small for their growing family. The new structure features successive terraces connected by ramps which form an itinerary that opens to a patio.
The original masonry house was built in the 1930s on a long 300m2 site. The addition attaches to the original house via a long, low connecting volume that opens out into an intimate courtyard planted with flowering and productive plants. The old house and the new house aren’t slammed together, but instead pulled apart and given space to be themselves. There is no attempt at making both parts of the house replicate each other by by means of materials, forms or detailing.
The long, bridge-like form that stretches across the two spaces includes the kitchen and a games room. These spaces are transitional, but also have a still quality imparted by their position facing the lush and colourful walled garden.
The interiors are lined in the natural finishes of timber as well as steel. There isn’t a drop of paint in the interior; instead, the honest textures of materials shine through. The warmth of the timber grain and the density of the black steel were both important in the design.
“We thought that, regarding the plot configuration and urban rules, we would create a new house stuck to the old house, We loved the idea of having two houses and don’t seek continuity of treatment between them.” – Antoine Mabire
Extending a house means reducing the exterior space of a plot. The theme of the project that we developed for the “landscape house” is the restitution of an exterior space. The site of the project is located in Nantes (France), in an area established on a ridge of the Armorican Massif. The 300m² plot hosts at its bottom a small house as a testimony to the past worker of the neighborhood.
“We designed a path created from a play with successive terraces connected by ramps, forming an itinerary which opens successively to a patio, to the landscape of the heart of block’s small urban gardens and the great scenery on the southern shores of the Loire.”
The development of this path defines a surface. The volume situated bellow this surface forms the extension of the house, a series of living spaces (living room, kitchen, workshop) connected by oblique views, put in relation through a play with the levels, without any interior door.
The relationship with the landscape is twofold: the house is not only a potential of various links with the exterior, but the work with the material is the creation of an interior landscape. The graining of the plywood, the motifs drawn by the rain on the metallic structure during construction, the moiré effect of the resin or the repetitive pattern of the cement tiles create a separate universe, the same way as the clouds draw unexpected landscapes inviting to contemplation.
Project name: Landscape House
Location: 22 Avenue Jeanne Jugan, 44100 Nantes, France
Coordinates: 47.203119, -1.596768
- Type By Characteristic: Architects House, Renovation / Expansion / Extension : House
- Type By Site: City / Town House
- Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
- Type By Materials: Steel House
Site area: 300 sqm
Gross Floor area: 185 sqm
- Existing house: 85 sqm
- Extension : 100 sqm
Completion Year: 2015
Client / Owner / Developer: Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire
Architects: Mabire-Reich Architectes – 35 Rue des Olivettes, 44100 Nantes, France
BET Structural: E2C
Text Description: © Courtesy of Mabire-Reich Architectes, architecturenow
Images: © Mabire-Reich Architectes, Guillaume Satre