The home ahead of us can easily fall under the small modern mansions superlatives rubric, envisioned for a family with three children and designed by Colboc Franzen & Associés, the home stuns the individual with extraordinary simplicity and dynamic, qualities wrapped in extraordinary materials embedded in a superb surrounding, all being located in a Parisian suburb of France entitled Sèvres.
The establishment is rather small compared with modern mansions featured on our site but this aspect enhances the home, it makes it far more pure, more dense in meaning and substance. The plot of land acquired by the family was previously occupied by an orchard and his simple gardener`s shed. This aspect served as a great starting pointing for the architect, the small construction now preserving the memory of the past.
The home shelters 299.5 square meters of living space separate in three categories : the amenities represented by the lobby,office,laundry room, basement and garage,in the second category we have common areas like living room, dinning room and kitchen, followed by the last group, the most private one, the bedrooms. The children`s bedrooms are organized around a multipurpose space that serves them.
“The methods and time of occupation are distinct and expectations are different: practicality for the first feature, collective life and reception area for the second and cosiness for the third. Furthermore, this fragmentation comes into resonance with the context: it is not just a house anymore but three volumes that come across the scale of heterogeneous nearby constructions. Due to the small size of the site volumes are superimposed.
The first volume is built backing on to the neighboring construction and runs parallel to the street. It’s half buried in the slope and therefore levels the ground. Made out of masonry, quenched with a single layer of bitumen and recovered with Corten steel sheets, this first floor contains all the amenities. Walls, ceiling and floor are white and contrast with the exterior. Those elements converge on the staircase and accelerate the perspective so the visitor is quickly projected into the house. The hall leads to the office and the laundry. The cloakroom and the restrooms are hidden in the thickness of the walls. Thanks to the first volume which levels the ground, the second floor is in direct relation with the garden. As far as the cantilever is concerned, it constitutes a canopy for the main entrance of the house. This floor is dedicated to the collective life. It’s a really opened and fluid space.
The second floor is divided by two “pieces of furniture”. The first piece incorporates the stairs, the kitchen, the restrooms and the chimney whereas the second one is composed of the dressing and the bathroom. Those two blocks delineate the living room, the dining room and the parental suite. It’s a very minimalist place.
The third and last floor is, once again, leaning on the neighboring building. The volume is wrapped with pine lath so the house can be in the line of the predominant color shades of the district. Since the volume is on the top of the construction and dedicated to the children, the wooden cladding was also a wink to tree houses. On the third floor three bedrooms and their bathrooms are organized around a multipurpose space. This double-oriented space is protected by a screen wall on the street side, and leads to a large terrace (rooftop of the second floor) on the south side. Bedrooms are also double-oriented to optimize views and natural lightening and provide natural and efficient ventilation.”
Sustainability has also been a key factor in design process of the R-House; special attention has been payed to exterior isolation, in the whole design the materials used were are as recyclable as possible aiming for the lowest environmental impact; to further enhance the sustainability of the home high performance glazing’s have been used.
Photographs: Cécile Septet