site Crans-Près-céligny is a peaceful village located 15 km away from Geneva. The residential development is an intervention on an almost agricultural and village environment. The characteristic of the site is its situation between the railway and the lakeside of Geneva Lake.
project features The invasion of the individual villa type can be seen as a "plague" or as the inevitable result of a continuous hybrid landscape. A landscape composing with nostalgic ideas of a too much worked out country side and an ever growing suburban sprawl. The position of the architect in this case is delicate. Should he work within the given reality of this deteriorated situation? Or should he fight against it – refuse to build in this density and typology?
The red houses place themselves in this type of problematic. Planting another object in this saturated suburban landscape. In this case, the purpose would be not to build an object but a small "ensemble", a little community of individuals who can, through the new scale of the intervention, constitute a good mixture of urban and landscape architecture. The placing of the three unities follows that logic. Searching for the best orientation and geometrical relation among each other, the volumes appear as geological landscape, three earthy red isolated stones, somehow as if the whole settlement was thought as a garden. Together, they are forming an entire project through their interaction. The complexity of the sculptural volumes offers ever-changing perceptions of the project.
Deformation and perforation are the essential form giving operations responding at the same time to the regulations of the site, avoiding every symmetry and increasing openings to reach an abstraction of scale. The geometry and the volumes of each houses serves another purpose : to propose a rich typology, capable of creating an experience of diversity of spaces inside the apartments. The loggias assure intimacy to the inhabitants and enframe the view over the landscape towards the Alps.
An essential part of the project is its "materiality". The choice of ochre coloured concrete has been made to give the ensemble an unusual and tactile texture, strong silhouette against the greenish lawn site and also give that irregular impression of a material that has been poured and will evolve and change over the years. The colour works also as a distinctive characteristic in order to separate the ensemble from the surrounding eclectic architectures. Each one of the three houses consists of two apartments with surfaces between 127 and 135 m2.