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AOI - 8 Collective housing

"The north facade is partly covered by a modern half-timbered structure which looks like the decorative patterns of the surrounding buildings"

Client / Client: Inolya
Location / Place: Ouistreham Riva Bella, France
Area / Surface: 460sqm / 460m²
Year / Year: 2020
Cooperation / Collaboration: ITE, Boulard, Bader, Matimoperle, Acoustibel
Status / Status: On going / En cours

Ouistreham is a small seaside town in Normandy, 15 minutes from Caen. It is well known for its marina and ferryboats which make regular connections to England. The city is very popular with tourists for its seaside houses, half-timbered dwellings, its beach and its pedestrian shopping street. At the end of this pedestrian street, the social landlord Inolya acquired a land for collective housing program (8 units). The scheme will face the “Metropolitain” building protected and classified by the municipality, which houses a bar / restaurant.


Previously, the site was occupied by a small cinema and by an old millstone house at the bottom of the plot. The plot develops like an "L" shape. The land is served by a private road shared with two other plots.

The construction of the social housing building will be on a narrow plot; 8.6m wide perpendicular to Gambetta street.


The new collective housing building is in the same alignment than the other construction on the Gambetta street. The building is open onto the heart of the block. Its north facade along the private road is partly covered by a modern half-timbered structure which looks like the decorative patterns of the surrounding buildings. It uses a classical language but in a contemporary way. It is vernacular modernity.

The half-timbered frame also hides the main supporting structure.

All the horizontal circulations of the building are organized behind this transparent facade. It reveals the daily residents’ comings and goings and the main building envelope pierced by numerous windows and doors randomly placed.

The southern façade is completely different and uses a more residential language like the local urban fabric.


The ground floor is mainly dedicated to parking and technical rooms.

The main entrance for residents is from the corner of the plot and differs from the car pathway. There is also an apartment suitable for disable people with its garden, as well as a dedicated parking space.


The roof of the building is made up of several double-pitched roofs which give the effect of many houses located next to each other. The rhythm of the roofs is due to building main structure position. The building has the same the architectural elements than the surrounding dwellings without be cliché.


Most of the apartment are open onto the south-west with large balconies or terraces, which continue the living rooms.

The apartment on the ground floor for disabled people benefits from a private garden planted with bushes. To facilitate the garden maintenance without having to go through the apartment, it is also accessible from the parking space.

When the balconies are along the property limits, they have a privacy screen to preserve the neighbouring plots intimacy and avoid visual conflicts.


The new collective housing building is a new addition to the urban fabric, it highlights  the surrounding building and creates a new urban relationship specially with the “Metropolitain” bar-restaurant.

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