Project's Summary

The "K House" in the Chemin Vert garden city is remarkable for several reasons. This large structure, measuring 24 meters long, 9 meters wide, and 11 meters high, houses four distinct homes. It is striking to see how each of the residents of these "quarters of a house" identifies with the entire building, much like living in a small attic room in Paris allows one to say "I live in Paris." In addition to its thermal efficiency, the scale of this housing complex gives it a true urban presence, contributing to the enhancement of public space, which is something that the mere juxtaposition of individual houses often fails to achieve.

The project we have just completed in the Jeanne d'Arc development zone, named after the recently demolished Jeanne d'Arc barracks located on the banks of the Chemin Vert garden city, reinterprets the famous "K" house type. In this reinterpretation, our housing units no longer consist of four back-to-back houses with an east-west orientation (northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest). Due to the north-south orientation of our plot of land, each housing unit now comprises six apartments, all of which benefit from a north-south orientation and an unobstructed view of the Chemin Vert garden city, a remarkable architectural and urban gem of Reims' reconstruction in the 1920s (designed by architect Auburtin). There are a total of six housing units, each containing six apartments, resulting in a total of 36 homes.

The housing units are characterized by their large, compact volumes and simple volumetric design. They feature tall roofs that extend from the ground floor to the second floor, allowing five out of the six apartments in each unit to have attic spaces, even those located on the ground floor, albeit partially. The prominent presence of sloping ceilings inside the apartments contributes to a sense of belonging and visually enlarges the living spaces considerably. The project also offers private gardens to the south, extending from the ground-floor apartments and adjacent to the preserved old fortification wall of the barracks, ensuring privacy between the existing houses in the garden city and the new housing units. Large terraces carved into the roofs provide views to the east and west, with the project's orientation allowing many gardens and apartments to catch glimpses of the Reims Cathedral.

The roof movements of the housing units adapt flexibly to the site's topography, preserving the permeability between the Chemin Vert garden city and the Jeanne d'Arc development zone, while also highlighting the trace of the old barracks' fortification wall. In contrast to the emerging neighborhood, the front facade of the six housing units unveils an unprecedented and rejuvenated exterior for the Chemin Vert garden city.

This project by Vincen Cornu Architecte creates a harmonious blend of architectural innovation and historical preservation. The design not only provides comfortable and energy-efficient living spaces but also contributes to the overall urban fabric of the Chemin Vert garden city, creating a new and vibrant facade that complements the surrounding environment. With its thoughtful integration of private gardens, spacious terraces, and panoramic views, this project offers a unique and contemporary living experience for its residents.

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