ARBA- : Entre les murs

Between the walls ... Quèsaco? The sequel to the film directed by Laurent Cantet and awarded at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008? What nenni! This is a house designed by ARBA- en 2017 architecture agency in the town of Thomery. A realization a little special, because implanted on a ground delimited - and cut - by walls of vines with which the designers had to compose ...

When their clients entrust them with the mission of designing a family home on this land located in Thomery (77), a small town on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau, the architects Jean-Baptiste Barache and Sihem Lamine are confronted with a dilemma a little peculiar . Indeed, the city is characterized by the presence of hundreds of vineyard walls that delimit the properties of the inhabitants. Until then, nothing very complex, except that the parcel in question is just crossed stack in the middle by one of these low walls.


"Much of the poetics of the place came from this wall, the apparatus of the stone. He created an ecosystem around him: generating shade, he stored calories and gave them back to climbing plants. But it disturbed, dividing in two a ground that one would have wished unitary and opened! ", testify Jean-Baptiste Barache and Sihem Lamine. So faced with the magic emanating from this heritage, the architects wonder: "Should he destroy it and recreate new? Or at best, reuse its stones? Should we keep this object intact, as we have found, the "respect" as one would respect a tree or an object of heritage? These questions are classic for heritage professionals, but we are creators of "new", and this wall was not a heritage object in the classic sense of the term. "

Luckily for the vineyard wall, Jean-Baptiste Barache and Sihem Lamine are not only "Creators of the new". They are also sensitive architects. So the duo chooses to keep this element, which is ultimately cut at its center. The house is built of wood in a square plan, between the north wall and the famous wall, so it has three independent gardens: east, south and west. Around the project, a walkway facilitates the movement of residents and occupies the void left between the facades and outdoor spaces protected from the weather and helps to hide the limit in / out.


Inside too, wood is king. "Interior arrangements and partitions are made of birch plywood"explain the builders. On the ground floor, the large living room enjoys a beautiful and pleasant height under ceiling, thanks to the piercing of a central atrium emphasized by the presence of the stove and its conduit. In the two upper floors, the intimate rooms all overlook this void, allowing the occupants to always stay in touch. Last interesting detail: the bracing panels of wood frame walls, usually hidden, are here left exposed and simply painted white. A good way to combine budget savings and aesthetics ...

To learn more, visit the site of ARBA-

Photographs: Daniel Moulinet

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