The Jury's appraisal
The project extracts a wealth of different spaces from a tiny house in the city of Nantes. Rather than simply filling the gap, a modest U-shaped extension has been wrapped around a small terrace facing the side street. Tinplate, glass and wood give the inner facades the softness of a hedgehog’s belly. Split levels contribute to a multitude of spatial qualities and perspectives throughout the core of the little house.
The project is situated to the west of Nantes in a very low-density district, a neighbourhood essentially comprising family houses.
The plot is small, barely 100 m², and has little depth. It contains an L-shaped family house of approximately 75 m² featuring the typical Nantes typology from the 1930s-‘40s: the main storey raised by one semi-level above the street, a semi-buried basement, an upper storey holding the bedrooms and a small garage.
The needs of the clients’ programme amply exceeded the possibilities for redistributing this dwelling, the reason why the project proposed conserving the volume of the main construction, situated on the crossing of two streets, to preserve the historic architectural outlines that are gradually disappearing from the district.
Demolishing the kitchen and garage volume permitted extending the home towards the neighbouring plot, developing a new U-shaped typological introduction. The construction thus twists around a terrace raised above the street that articulates the relationship between the existing home and its extension. This formal and compositional resource enhances the importance of the existing volume on the urban angle while consolidating the façade giving on to the old party wall with the neighbouring house.
The project has conserved and boosted the characteristic layout of the house on semi-levels. The entrance is now underneath the terrace, recessed from the street, via an open generous porch that dissolves the limits between the private property and the public space.
In the layout, the old kitchen has been transformed into the dining room and been placed four steps further up, in the new extension situated next to the living room. On the main level, and in the place of the old living dining room, is the master bedroom. The two bedrooms on the second level have been preserved and a third one has been added above the dining room.