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ABCM - 15 intermediate housing

"The apartments on the ground floor will be mainly for elderly people and fitted out with equipment allowing them to remain independent"

Client / Client: Caen La Mer Habitat
Location / Location: Bénouville, France
Area / Surface: 1017sqm / 1017m²
Year / Year: 2021
Cooperation / Collaboration: Matimoperle, ITE, Boulard, Bader, Acoustibel
Status / Status: Ongoing / En cours

Bénouville is a small town in Normandy, located few kilometers away from the seaside. The town is particularly famous for its "Pegasus Bridge" which was the scene of military operations during the World War II.


In recent years, the town has experienced a strong urban development and the population is significantly increasing thanks to its proximity to the sea and its quick access to Caen city center with the highway (RD 514). It is within the framework of this development that Caen La Mer Habitat has acquired a plot within a housing estate in order to build a 15 intermediates housing building.


The project land is the plot 33 and is located at the Clos Bellevue estate entrance, along the RD 514, in a mainly suburban house fabric and near the Notre Dame du Port church (heritage building) and its cemetery.


At the north-west limit, the land is bordered by an existing green hill which separates the plot from the highway (4 lanes of traffic). On the west, a new landscaped intervention has been created on the plot area and creates a second visual and sound barrier with the traffic lane. On the south-west side, a dense vegetation acts as a natural limit for the plot and the housing estate. And to finish, the south-east side of the plot is next to the main road of the estate. Therefore, it was decided with the main developper “Edifides” that the plot 33 will be the only one in the subdivision that can accommodate a collective or an intermediate housing program. The other plots will be occupied by individual dwellings.


The entire project will be devoted to the construction of 15 social housing units.


In order to reduce the project scale for the future neighbouring houses, the building is divided into 3 parts and is 3 floors high.

From the main street of the housing development, the intermediate housing is set up in the same urban logic as the neighbouring houses. The 3 volumes seem to be independent buildings whereas it is a whole building. This strategy lowers the scale of the building than a classic residential building.


With their low thicknesses and their flat roofs, the volumes look like some urban farmhouses and therferore adapt to the existing urban fabric with a simple shape. They mark the entrance to the housing estate.


The gaps between the volumes constitute the main accesses and the exterior circulations of the apartments. All the volumes have different lengths depending on their position on the site, each adapts to the morphology of the plot. Therefore, despite a similar shape, a random composition emerges.


Some setbacks and gaps are arranged in the various volumes to reduce the building mass. It allows better sunlight exposition on the facades. All the apartments have generous outdoor spaces and turn their backs on the highway and its noises.


The apartments on the ground floor will be mainly for elderly people and fitted out with equipment allowing them to remain independent. On the same floor there are many technical rooms and in particular two bicycle rooms spread over the two staircases. Only the rubbish room is located outside the building, along the car park.


The project also includes 15 parking spaces for the residents with an access controlled by an automatic rising barrier. All of these spaces are covered with vegetation in order to reduce their presence on the site when the parking is empty.


Along the main road the plot is delimited by landscaping (fences and hedges) which privatizes and secures the land. Trees of different sizes are planted on the plot to respond to future private landscaping and to the public space of the housing estate.

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