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  • Chantepie, Rennes
  • France
  • Architect:
    Eric Lenoir
  • 2008-2009
  • Client:
    Rennes Métropole & Mairie de Chantepie
  • Contractor:
  • Photographer :
    Eric Lenoir


  Section Model 360
  Plan Ground floor Model 460
  Plan Ground floor Model 480
  Product sheet: Aluzinc®

Private Homes in Chantepie "Meccano Flexible"

In the designated development area Rives du Blosne, in the town of Chantepie, close to Rennes (F) several districts with private homes are being developed, among them a set of 26 private homes made of steel.

Although this area is not yet connected to the public infrastructure and most of the local amenities are still to be developed, the 6 neighbourhoods contain interesting architectural developments which make them very promising as residential area.

Among them, a set of 26 private houses designed by the architect Eric Lenoir particularly stands out:
- 18 of them are enveloped in black coated, trapezoidal steel and offer 94 m2 
-  3 of them are clad in Aluzinc® with 117m2 and
-  5 houses are clad with wood (red cedar) and offer 135 m2 living space

Eric Lenoir advocates design and contemporary art in architecture and regularly organizes exhibitions of different design artists: The aim is to combine contemporary art with urban codes in order to create “ideal” facilities.

In course of the project of these houses in Chantepie, called "Meccano Flexible", the architect developed the "Archilenoir" concept. He describes it as a dimensional approach with a basic steel structure (column – beam) and an independent, modular façade which allows different possibilities, combinations and materials, always with a common denominator.

The constructive rationalism of the houses goes back to the architect’s earlier work and personal experience, he designs only what is actually possible to build.

This project arose from a mental image and the expert knowledge of interior spaces, of what is possible in three dimensions and the fact that “standardization” does not mean that the buildings have to be identical.

It consists in a set of innovative construction methods for experimental optimized housing with 4 main objectives: cost, quality, reliability and time. It is mainly designed for social housing programmes.

This modular system, based on 100% steel construction made of hot rolled profiles, is based on a cube with variable dimensions.

Built on stilts, the Chantepie houses consist of 3 basic cubic volumes of 4,8m, 3,6m and 2,4 m, and intermediate modules (4,2m and 3m) according to their sizes, with a constructive frame of 0,6 m. Technologies normally used for industrial buildings were applied for these residences: cladding with composite steel panels made of Aluzinc coated and black steel, plaster or wood for interior walls and partitions, roofing made of Aluzinc and black coated steel sheets and aluminium joinery in the exteriors.

Primarily used for its aesthetic features and its excellent corrosion resistance, Aluzinc® was chosen as the cladding for 3 of the houses also in order to create a contrast to the wood and the black steel. It catches the light and reflects it thanks to its metallic spangle – and sets a sparkling visual highlight. Furthermore, Aluzinc® is a competitive material, durable in its aesthetics and excellent for processing. 

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