Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés

Architects: Dominique Coulon & associés
Project: Mixed-Use Building
Architect in Charge: Dominique Coulon, Olivier Nicollas, Benjamin Rocchi, Steve Letho Duclos
Location: Strasbourg, France
Area 500.0 m2
Project Year 2015
Photography: Eugeni Pons, David Romero-Uzeda

This small tower has been built in the historic Krutenau district in Strasbourg. The city has a number of “hollow teeth” – vacant plots that are too small to be of interest to promoters. In exchange for an attractive price, the consultation called for the production of an exemplary building guaranteeing the achievement of high energy performances, the use of bio-sourced materials, and a mixed-purpose project.

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 1

On a plot measuring just 120 square metres, we proposed a mixed-use building, a programme of offices and accommodation, with a kitchen garden and an organic swimming pool on the topmost terrace.

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 2

The skin is in scorched wood (larch), a technique often utilised in Japan that makes the material long-lasting by scorching its outer surface. The facade masks the interconnection of the programmes. The openings in the walls appear to be random, not corresponding to any functional requirements, and their different sizes make it difficult to distinguish the different levels of the building. This is contained freedom. Towards the top, a volume of rough concrete pivots through 10°, appearing to detach itself from the black mass of the wood base and producing a dynamic corner. The orange and silver-coloured projecting blinds add a touch of colour to the strange outline of this dark building.

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 3

The building is generous with the street. Large bay windows offer views into the scale-model workshop, which is slightly below street level, so that the activity of an architect’s office can be seen. This transparency is often seen in Scandinavian countries, where people place their most attractive belongings next to a window, as if offering them to the street outside.

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 4

Like Loos’ Raumplan, the spaces interconnect in a complex fashion, with double heights lending fluidity to the whole. The spacing between the different floors differs according to the spaces, giving them their proper proportions. On the inside, the materials used are sturdy and rustic. The concrete floors have merely been polished. Shelving and cupboards are in wood; the staircase is in untreated metal.

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 5

The building appears to play with the contradictions in the situation, condensing its complexity and offering a joyful rendition.

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 6

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 7

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 13

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 8

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 9

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 10

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 11

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 12

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 14

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 15

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 16

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 17

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 18

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 19

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 20

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 21

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 22

Mixed-Use Building in Strasbourg by Dominique Coulon & Associés 23

Must Read

Black Rock House by Sheppard & Rout Architects 2

Black Rock House by Sheppard & Rout Architects

A two level family home built into the hillside of a sloping site on a small peninsula between Charteris Bay and Diamond Harbour, Banks Peninsula. The stone-clad base holding bedrooms is sunken into the land while extensive glazing opens the living level up to dramatic views. An organic roof form floats above this with the fascia clad in GRC paneling.