transformation of the Desiré Colombe quarter
The assignment consisted of restoration, renovation, construction and urban planning of the Desiré Colombe-quarter. It is located just west of the center of Nantes, an area under development, and needs to be connected with the center of the city in the future. The neighbourhood consists of a number of vacant historic buildings which are situated around a deserted park.
The park must be reconnected with the city and a number of historical buildings needs to be renovated. The ‘Salon Mauduit’ will be relocated on the site. The historic buildings will need to accommodate a cluster of associations. Furthermore a day care centre and dwellings of in total 11.000m2 need to be realized.
The design proposal of Mei & Arcature & Empreinte paysage is to enlarge the park to the edges of the area. In this way, the district will become the ‘missing link’ between other green spaces in the city. The houses and the village hall will be situated in the park. The residential buildings are characterized by large outdoor spaces, causing the park to extend into the buildings.
The quarter is blocked from any motorized traffic to ensure the undisturbed atmosphere in the park. Several pedestrian accesses are important to connect the inner area with its surroundings. It is visible from the street through perforations and canopies in the building masses, giving glimpses into the park. The association building shows itself to the neighbourhood and the park with a large entrance at the corner of the street and an entrance plaza centered in the park.
The dwellings are designed to have an optimal outdoor space. Most dwellings are oriented at two sides. Every outdoor space is adapted to the location of the specific dwelling. The dwellings facing the street are provided with loggias, facing dwellings are equipped with privacy-screens, dwellings on the park side feature balconies. This ensures privacy in the outdoor area.
The mixed-use building is located partly in a historic building, and partly in a new building. The mixed-use building includes a large number of office spaces for associations, dance- and music rooms, meeting rooms and a courtyard; all centered around the historic hall ‘Salon Mauduit’. The appearance of the historic building is retained by creating the courtyard as a buffer between the new and the old buildings. The mixed-use building is characterized by many outdoor spaces at different levels, in line with the concept of transforming the entire neighbourhood into a park-like area.