365 Housing units, La Roche-sur-Yon, 2006
The form of La Roche-sur-Yon is very similar that of an ideal city. In this context, we propose to re-introduce an innovative form of social housing that recalls the garden cities of Europe´s social-democratic era. The south-west angle of the Pentagon is a priority zone for construction. Currently occupied by a series of low quality single family houses, it is also in close proximity to an imposing public housing block on Rue de la Bretagne. Intervening on this angle also allows us to re-connect this housing block to the rest of the city. The site is further enhanced by its proximity to the green spaces of L´Yon Park.
Taking advantage of this, the new buildings are oriented from the boulevards towards the L´Yon Park. The majority of housing units are turned towards the river and building heights decrease as they approach the park and the water. The housing typology used (maximum ground+3) consists of interlocking duplex units with individual entries. Emphasizing the individual character of each « house» within this garden city, each unit is detached and elevated on pilotis, well above the slope of the flood zone. Two small buildings are strategically placed in order to re-establish continuity with the Etats-Unis Boulevard. The Rue de Bretagne is also enhanced with grass plantings.