Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Nantes School of architecture, Lacaton & Vassal


Lacaton & Vassal are a couple of French architects who have introduced a new position in contemporary architecture. The budget is the point of departure for their projects. They prefer to play with the constraints of budget than those of form or function.



Their effort is to make more habitable spaces without increasing the cost. They make an interesting approach to sustainability using traditional solutions and making extra-space, without the expense of high-technology.


 The School of architecture is created by a structure of great capacity, in which the project design comes up with a scheme capable of supporting diverse situations possible in a school of architecture or the city of Nantes. A steel structure ¿divides? the height of these main levels. This enables the space devoted to the program to be generously installed and creates a system adapted to their extension and their future evolution.



I'm not sure but... The grid structure is the counterpoint to the horizontality of the building. The steel columns are the only mediators of this otherwise open and flexible space. The generosity of space allows for future expansion and evolution.

Or from the Smithson's 'As well as the clean lines and large areas of glazing, this frame structure allows internal partitions to be repositioned without undertaking major structural work.'

There are three external floors above the natural ground level, served by a gently sloping external ramp that progressively puts the ground surface of the city in touch with the exterior. The ramps supported by the concrete structure represent a promenade through the building to the top floor that’s totally empty, ready to be appropriated by the users. Sustainability must also include the possibility of having spaces not acclimatized but that maybe can be used when people want and how people want, that’s the meaning of extra-space.




From Congrexpo 'Each program has its own zone in the building, arranged so that the interfaces create new programmatic opportunities.'
All the spaces are linked to allow many possibility to program, double-height volumes with non-attributed functions New Sentence The transparent facades of which benefit the sun´s rays and originated a semi-acclimatized spaces. 

 Like a pedagogical tool, the project questions the programme and the practices of the school as much as the norms, technologies and its own process of elaboration.'

Antonio Torres Sanz

Lacaton & Vassal are a couple of French architects that’s introducing a new position in contemporary architecture. Their main preoccupation is the relation between the form, function and budget. The newness consist to situated the budget in the first position, also more restrictive that the function. Their effort is to make more habitable space without increase the cost. They make an interesting approximation to sustainability only with traditional solutions and making extra-space, without high-technology. 

The School of architecture is created by a structure of great capacity, in which the project design comes up with a scheme capable to support diverse situations possible in a school of architecture or the city of Nantes. There a steel structure that divides the height of these main levels. Il enables the space devoted to the program to be generously installed and creates a system adapted to their extension and their future evolution. 

There are three external floors above the natural ground level, served by a gentle sloping external ramp that progressively put the ground surface of the city in touch with the exterior. The ramps support by the concrete structure represents a promenade till the last floor that’s totally empty, ready to be appropriated by the users. Sustainable must be also the possibility to have space not acclimatized but that maybe can be used when people want and how people want, that’s the meaning of extra-space. 

All the spaces are linked to allow many possibility to program, double-height volumes with non-attributed functions and the transparent facades of which benefit the sun´s rays and originated a semi-acclimatized spaces. Like a pedagogical tool, the project questions the program and the practices of the school as much as the norms, technologies and its own process of elaboration.

1 comment:

  1. Antonio, these are interesting architects and it is an interesting building as it doesn't appear to be a school of architecture at first glance but there are definite signals from the point of view of materials and programme that you describe so well.

    Ramps, structural grid, glazing and a free plan (and an enclosed solarium perhaps), are we talking about this building or the Villa Savoye. There are so many similarities to the two buildings it could have been a good starting point for your description.

    The point is not to have to start a description in English from the beginning, that the material from the seminar is a useful starting point.

    Despite all I've said, the description was interesting and the images are very good.

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