The building is located on the higher grounds of Geneva’s Mervelet
neighbourhood. At the heart of a rapidly changing residential area, the site has the
remains of a garden-city with scattered century-old houses and trees.
Depending on use and context, the outside skin of the building can have several
expressive overlays. It reacts like a sensitive interface between inhabitants and their
perceived and lived environment. Facing south and west, the alternate assembly of
prefabricated concrete modules creates the structure of an inhabited hive.
On the loggias, stainless iron railings lean forward and rotate gradually. The
create a curved lining that is perceived differently depending on daylight and location.
This arrangement offers both intimacy and transparency.
The rough combination of building materials continues in common areas; a
polished concrete slab on the floor, walls covered with cement and iron for the stairs’
railings. The oakwood used for the handrail and entrance doors creates a domestic and
nostalgic feeling when entering the apartments.
Inside the apartments, the large hallway allows views across the day and night
areas, and creates a space with multiple uses. In the rooms, alternating high and low
windows define the volume. Living rooms with fullwidth glazed windows continue onto
loggias. These exterior living quarters project themselves towards the surrounding
trees and scenery.
These typologies and arrangements provide the dwellings with the distinctive
attributes of a family house surrounded by a garden. In doing so, the 63 public utility
housing units are designed as a Building-Villa.
ARCHITECTS: NOMOS – nomos.archi
CLIENT: SCHG – www.schg.ch
PROGRAMME: 63 PUBLIC UTILITY HOUSING UNITS
COMPLETION DATE: 2015
1227 Les Acacias
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