Mabire-Reich Architectes : Maison Puzzle

A puzzle of six pieces more complex to solve than another of 500, possible? Of course, since one of them is a house in Nantes to renovate, and is also marked by the previous addition of multiple extensions. A difficult exercise whose architects Marie-Hélène Reich and Antoine Mabire came out winners hand-in-hand. Explanations.

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

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


As a result of this choice, the house that was once 100 square meters today is 128, and has two levels worthy of the name to accommodate the living rooms downstairs and upstairs night rooms. Outside, the frontage facing the roadway was simply painted black and dressed in the famous wooden fishnet - which also acts as a sunshade protecting the window of the bathroom - so that a watchful eye can always distinguish the different extensions. On the garden side, eight glazed panels, two of which open, offer the inhabitants a real connection with the garden until then 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 floor allowed us to partition the ground floor. The entrance is thus marked by a compression effect thanks to the relatively low ceiling. A feeling of space follows when 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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