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209 Logements, Houilles
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Case Study - 209 Logements, Houilles

Houilles, France
, 24 Aug 2020 - 12:22

In Houilles, a city located in the Yvelines département in the Paris metro area, the market square looks better than ever after the comprehensive renovation of a large apartment complex consisting of several tiered buildings. C3A Architecture, the architecture studio in charge of the project, decided to play with material interactions: white mineral stucco, zinc cladding and Trespa® Meteon® panels have been used side by side. The latter were chosen for their complementary, warm brown finish reminiscent of oxidised metal and their outstanding durability.

Harmonious interplay: Trespa® Meteon®, zinc cladding and stucco join forces on an apartment complex

The main goal: showing the tiered façade structure to its best advantage 

The buildings, which contain 209 apartments, were erected in the 1970s as a social housing project. They are located in the very centre of Houilles, and the U-shaped main building is framing the city’s market square. Accordingly, the city wanted the renovation to be a resounding success, both in terms of projected image and visual appeal. The estate management company, CDC Habitat, and the city were especially keen to showcase effectively the tiered façades and the protruding porch.

Trespa® Meteon® panels: an elegant counterweight for the zinc cladding 

The initial idea was to crown the white stucco façades with top floors clad in grey zinc, as a way to differentiate the terraced tiers. It turned out, though, that a third material was needed to effectively highlight selected parts of the building – and to counterbalance the strong visual impact of the zinc cladding. The architect who coordinated the project, Nicolas Caillat of C3A Architecture, explains: “Right from the start, as this third material had to make a strong impression, we concentrated on a series of Trespa® finishes that went all the way from oxidised and ochre-coloured copper to a very dark shade of carbon grey. Finally, the city administration and the building owner agreed on Trespa® Meteon®Naturals NM05 Hardened Brown. This finish mimics oxidised corten steel, and the contrast it creates between the Meteon® panels and the zinc cladding is befittingly strong, yet harmonious at the same time”.

We concentrated on a series of Trespa® finishes that went all the way from oxidised and ochre-coloured copper to a very dark shade of carbon grey.” Nicolas Caillat, C3A Architecte

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©Jean-Pierre Delagarde