As part of a redevelopment of the port in Sète, Southern France, a new housing and office project by Colboc Franzen & Associates has become the cornerstone and model for sustainability in future construction. A group of metal-screened residential and commercial towers has all the right moves when it comes to energy efficiency and appropriate architecture for the region. The apartments enjoy views, natural ventilation, private screen patios along with a close connection to its surrounding neighborhoods. Completed in 2011, the project has been certified as a Habitat et Environnement.
The housing and offices in Sète are located on a thin strip of land between the Étang de Thau and the Mediterranean Sea on the northern side of the old town. This project is one of the first to be completed in ambitious urban project that aims to convert huge swathes of abandoned docklands into a business and residential district.
Colboc Franzen & Associates designed the three building development to fit in with its existing neighbors and provide a good starting point for the rest of the projects to come. An underground parking garage is topped with landscaping and grass, while the bottom base of the towers provide space for retail and businesses.
The towers themselves are wrapped in a digitally prefabricated metal shade screen that provides privacy, protection from the weather and from the sun. In the summer the screen shades the porch to keep the apartments cool, while in the winter, the sunlight pushes through the gaps to provide light and warmth. Each of the 71 apartments enjoys 2 aspects for views, sunlight and cross ventilation. The buildings’ volumes were digitally optimized for passive solar and to allow light into the central garden. A green roof sits on top of the office tower and the project was Certified ‘Habitat et Environnement’.
Images ©Cécile Septet