G house by Lode Architecture

By • May 19, 2013 •  Selected Work 

This 2011 project is a contemporary vacation residence by Lode Architecture that is located in Normandy, France.

The architects took a minimalist approach to the design, creating a comfortable yet efficient retreat.

G house by Lode Architecture:

“Near the Seine estuary, between woods and orchards, this holiday home appears at first like a dark silhouette, on a green background. It is a simple volume, monochrome, with smooth front, and sharp edges.

In the light, the slate cladding reacts to the changing skies of Normandy, and settles the house in its landscape. Nearby façades from the Port of Honfleur are then brought to mind.

Inside, one discovers a hollow volume, free from frame until the roof. A series of load-bearing walls, made of wooden panels, carve the space. Openings, cut in their thickness, create ways, frame interior views or invite the nearby landscape in.

By using the effects of superimpositions and gaps, these picture windows give a kaleidoscopic vision of the home and its inhabitants. In the middle of the plan, the living-room extends with a terrace, which benefits the shade from a big cherry tree.

Glass partitions of large dimensions join the two spaces together , and insure solar supply.

On the roof, a series of reflective conduits, complement the light supply from the North side.

The longitudinal organization of the house, highlighting the load-bearing walls, allows  a transversal management of the luminescence, allowing the home to find it’s place within the cycle of days and seasons

Environmental approach:The intermittent use of the house, built as a holiday home, strongly influenced the environmental choices of the project.

The challenge was here to give priority to passive devices and architecture, offering a gain in terms of energy performance, but also for the comfort of the occupants.

The exposure has been a main priority : East-West orientation, oversized opening to the South, natural shades and solar control strategy, North side blind.

Great attention has been given to thermal insulation. Choosing wood slab, and a wood panelling structure insulated from the outside, has allowed us to obtain good levels of insulation and air tightness.

Furthermore, the low-thermal-mass building, offered by the wooden structure is interesting in the context of a weekend home, that needs to heat up quickly, for short periods.

A wood stove thus is sufficient to heat the home.Finally, the building is based on the dry process framework, with the benefits of prefabrication : quality building, swift assembly, and site protection.

Technical description:The structure uses wooden slabs, stacked on top of each other in order to create the three levels of the ground floor, following the slope of the land. These floors rest on shallow foundations, which insure ventilation from below, and does not impede the draining of rainwater.

Above these floors, the whole structure was made in solid wood panels, that entirely cover the 12 meter length of the house. The load-bearing walls were made in two pieces, with a median joint.

All the left over pieces of woods were used, as doors, steps, or fixed furniture. In order to highlight the structure, and to allow the passage of utilities, the side walls and the roof ceilings were plastered, unlike the load-bearing walls that show both their wooden sides. This arrangement required coring in the panels for the electrical distribution.

Outside, in order to obtain a more direct expression of the original plan, the cladding required specific implementations : flush windows, drip profile and  details on the roof were adapted.

The extensive use of slate with a continuous layout, matches up criteria of durability, aesthetic, and a desire to remain anchored to local building traditions.”

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