ACLE - House extension
"These two "houses" cladded with metal panel are connected by a glass volume"
Photos: Kitoko Studio
This house extension project is located in Caen near the high schools Augustin Fresnel and Jean Rostand, and close to the neighborhoods of the Grâce de Dieu and La Guerinière. It is a town house along a quiet street on a narrow plot.
Looking from the street, all the houses of the neighborhood almost look the same with a simple architectural language. Looking from their garden, many of these houses have many unattractive volumes that affect their appearance but meet the needs of their owners. The house of this project is not spared by this disjointed constructive language and, from the garden side, we can discover the complexity of the construction. It is a patchwork of various extensions made by the previous owners. The successive enlargements and the increase of space have superseded the quality of the dwelling. Successive extensions have thickened the house so much that many rooms no longer receive natural light. Moreover these volumes stop the view towards the garden and prevent the owners to fully enjoy it.
The owners, who wished to improve the spaces of the house and to offer more comfortable room for their children, decided also to expand their home.
The very restrictive urban regulations, a narrow plot and the main constructible area almost reached, the strategy was to build over the existing house. The first intervention was to remove all the volumes that no longer fit the new expectations of the owners. It also helped to restore legibility and an urban coherence to the house.
The ground floor was slightly extended towards the garden with a large opening to bring maximum natural light and facilitate the relationship of the room with the outdoor space. It is aligned with the existing volume of the kitchen. The whole facade of the ground floor level is treated with a black coating. It created a solid mineral basis on which lie two small volumes hosting the master suite and a new bedroom for the kid. They are both set back from the constructability limit bringing a dynamic to the project and in the same time providing an accessible roof terrace. These are simple volumes resuming the language of the existing house with its pitched roof and its façade covered with a zinc cladding.
These two "houses" are connected by a glass volume that hosts the new staircase. This volume allows bringing natural light to the heart of the project.
From the main street, it is difficult to see the house extension. It is almost invisible. Only the storage space on the ground floor and the cantilever volume sheltering the parental bathroom upstairs show that a new construction exists.
The storage space directly connects the front part of the plot to the garden at the rear, allowing the passage of machines for the maintenance of the garden or the access to the shed located at the back of the garden.
The new house extension fits into its urban context taking up the local geometry of the surrounding roofs and becomes a part of the general urban harmony of the street.
The addition gives a unity to the house while keeping the idea of project created by multiple volumes.