Mabire-Reich Architectes : Maison Puzzle

A six-piece puzzle more complex to solve than a 500, possible? Of course, since one of the two is a Nantes house to renovate, and is also marked by the previous addition of multiple extensions. A difficult exercise in which the architects Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire emerged victorious handily. Explanations.

North-west of Nantes (44), a few minutes from Parc de Procé, a small house overlooking the street proudly sports a black facade adorned with light wood; she looks like an elegant lady wearing a fishnet veil. But contrary to appearances, this achievement was not always so dressed up, and it is to local architects Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire that it owes its current grace.

Because before the delivery of the site in January 2018, the building was rather scruffy, and this because of the many changes made over time to accommodate more and more users. Thus, when the owners ask Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire to enlarge it further, they wonder. “At first a simple single-storey dwelling, then extended by a lateral extension to finally be partially raised, this accommodation raised the question of its ability to undergo yet another intervention. So, rather than erasing this story, we completed the puzzle, by raising the initial frame to form a coherent volume ”explains the duo.


As a result of this choice, the house which was once 100 square meters is now 128, and has two levels worthy of the name to accommodate the living rooms downstairs and the night rooms upstairs. Outside, the facade overlooking the road has simply been painted black and dressed in the famous wooden mesh - which also acts as a sunshade protecting the bathroom window - so that a careful eye can always distinguish the different extensions. On the garden side, eight glazed panels, two of which open, provide residents with a real connection with the garden that had hitherto been poorly exploited.

In addition, Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire take advantage of their intervention to harmonize and optimize interiors, playing with differences in volumes and materials. “The extension of the first floor has allowed us to partition the ground floor. The entrance is thus marked by a compression effect thanks to the relatively low ceiling. There follows a feeling of space once you arrive in the double height living room », specify the designers. A bias supported by the generous use of plywood panels (material dear to the agency) that amplify the differences in size, create a warm atmosphere, and harmonize the entire project. As if all the pieces of the House Puzzle were carved in the same wood ...

To learn more, visit the site of Mabire-Reich Architectes 

Photographs: William Satre

Illustrations: Mabire-Reich Architects

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