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Four houses in a valley
Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône, France

Though the project is sited in an urban context, close to the newly-constructed district of La Duchère, the natural setting has been preserved. The site is located in a small valley, on a south-facing slope. It contains an old orchard.
Care had to be taken to avoid the problems associated with shared sites, and to preserve the existing landscape.
The four houses stand at the top of the slope. Their south-facing gables open onto distant panoramas, and provide a plunging view over the valley.
A roadway gives access to their upper sides, which has enabled the lower part of the valley to be preserved in its natural state.
The absence of fences means that boundaries, if required, are comprised of vegetation only. And it is to be noted that after several years, none of the owners has put up fences.
Equidistant but asymmetrical, each of the houses has a façade that is open onto private terraces, and one that is more enclosed, avoiding direct lines of sight.
The horizontal profiles of the houses, and their identical height, means that they harmonise with one another, each echoing its neighbour, but with its own particular combination of privacy and contact.
The lightness of expression of the elevated parts, in wood and metal, contrasts with the massiveness of the concrete bases, which structure the landscape and the surrounding areas.
The architectural style is systemic. The houses share common features, but there are variations in the "accessories" (garages, external walkways, swimming pools, etc.) and the materials used. A strong environmental approach is applied throughout, though individualised in each case.

Four houses in a valley, Champagne-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône, France
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Areas
220 / 265 / 277 / 366 m2
Cost
not disclosed
Client
private
Architects and building surveyors
Tectoniques
Engineers wood structure
Schneider
Engineers concrete structure
Thieblemont
Environmental approach
The energy characteristics of the facings are optimised by using compact volumes, wooden frames, reinforced insulation, planted-out roof terraces and systematic solar protection.
Heat is generated by wood-burning stoves, geothermal devices and, for the production of hot water, solar panels. Both heating and cooling are provided by the underfloor system.

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