Bottière Chénaie in Nantes
A compact mixed-use building with a domestic vibe
KAAN Architecten unveils the multi-use development designed within the new district of Bottière Chénaie in the North-Eastern area of Nantes (France). The winning entry of an international competition held in 2013, this project is part of a wider urban development plan conceived by urban planner Jean-Pierre Pranlas Descours in collaboration with landscape firm Atelier Bruel-Delmar.
Extremely compact, the project features a multifunctional plinth, composed of commercial spaces, a supermarket and a car park. Above this base rise two 5-storey residential blocks comprising 172 apartments in total. The first volume is dedicated to market-rate housing, while the second hosts a social housing complex.
To the North-West, the larger housing volume unfolds around a spacious courtyard planted with trees, where external walkways overlooking the green surroundings provide access to the dual aspect apartments. Inspired by the Dutch residential architecture tradition, this circulation solution is adapted to its context and minimizes vertical connections, allowing diverse configurations to the housing units – from private outdoor spaces to loggias with living areas. Moreover, these orientational anomalies are flanked by light-wells spreading natural daylight to the lower floors: a vertical rupture that generates informal spaces to foster residents’ socialization.
To the east, the second volume accommodates 39 social housing apartments, which, according to their position, benefit from a double orientation, different typology of loggias and look out over the trees or towards the city. Lastly, to the south-west, the office block, organized around a central core, reinforces the volume juxtaposition and completes the new urban landscape.
Foto’s: Sebastian van Damme