Supported by Studio Losa Architects and the Centre Communal d’Action Sociale (CCAS) of Clermont-Ferrand, one of France’s largest social action community centers, Clos des Vignes, is an intergenerational and inclusive village made with passive design principles. The ambitious project incorporates 40 units within eight buildings and a multifunctional hall in the city of Clermont-Ferrand in central France. The community serves as a home for independent seniors, people who receive public assistance and people with disabilities.

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Following studies conducted by the CCAS of Clermont-Ferrand aimed at discovering optimal housing designs for seniors to supplement assisted living facilities, a need was found for promoting home support while preserving social life. Additionally, the study found that older communities must prioritize self-reliance and support among the residents to protect quality of life, all while limiting building energy consumption to reach a passive level.

Related: This nature-filled community is a smart housing solution for Singapore’s aging population

garden between red and white buildings
large white building with glass walls and large columns

Of the 40 units, half are one-bedrooms and half are two-bedrooms. Thirty of the units are reserved for seniors while the remaining 10 are intended for students or young couples. Views of the region’s famous Puy de Dôme volcano and Monts du Livradois-Forez nature preserve serve as an inspiration for new lifestyles and renewed physical and mental energy for the village inhabitants. All of the units and public garden spaces are accessible to those with reduced mobility.

large white room with sliding glass doors leading to a balcony
tan bathroom with accessible shower

The housing complex also incorporates smart home management with automation of certain amenities and tablets linked to provide direct access to a CCAS platform for car, services and group activities. The design features vegetable gardens and walking paths, with 4,000 square meters of grounds open to the public in the day and closed at nightfall to be enjoyed exclusively by residents.

large white room with black-framed glass doors
sliding glass doors connected to wood balcony

Ground coverings are chosen for high resistance outside while low-maintenance and high-performing interior insulation regulates the thermal and acoustic environment of the interior. Solar panels produce energy for water and space heating to add to passive house design principles, and the structures utilize a combination of steel and concrete in construction.

+ Studio LOSA

Photography by Nicolas Grosmond via aR. Communication