- Sustainable Architecture
- La Crique, housing that connects with its environment
A useable area of 7871 square metres for a total of 145 apartments. These are significant numbers for the residential complex called La Crique by PietriArchitectes sitting at the foot of the Montagne de l’Aigle in the 9th arrondissement to the south of Marseille, between the Roy D'Espagne and Sormiou districts, 5 minutes from Borely park, the beaches and the city's Bonneveine shopping centre.
Despite the impressive size of the architectural intervention, thanks to judicious design solutions developed in collaboration with landscape architect Thomas Gentilini, the two volumes whose curvilinear facades are modulated by ribbons of generous balconies are light and almost ethereal to look at.
The first volume to the east is set slightly lower, allowing it to follow the natural lie of the land and minimising its visual impact by creating a smoother transition between the various levels. Staggered terraces at the end walls create actual tiers, echoing the mountainous topography nearby but the focal point of the complex is a large green space in the centre. This landscaped garden with typical Mediterranean flora has been designed as a kind of inlet between the two buildings, reminiscent of the Calanques: not only does it reveal a view of the rocky massif, it also emphasises the association with the landscape surrounding the construction. This relationship with nature on the part of the occupants is consolidated by the position of the main pedestrian accesses to the two volumes, along a pathway that winds through the communal garden like a promenade.
Each apartment also has its own individual link with the context, because they are all fitted with more than generous outdoor areas. Being staggered, these terraces and balconies provide excellent natural light, and they gradually become deeper from the ground floor up to the roof, following the line of the sun as it changes with the seasons. They also give tenants a large outdoor area where they can sunbathe, dine and tend to their pot plants, making it a genuine extension of the interiors.
For the design team from PietriArchitectes, this ongoing connection between architecture and nature is the true heart of La Crique. Because building condominiums of this size in such a special natural environment without detracting from it is certainly not easy, but it is possible, as we can see from Luc Boegly's photographs. It is a doable task without having to resort to who knows what exotic or rare materials, simply by giving the beauty of Mediterranean forms and traditions a contemporary twist.
La Crique is certified to règlementation thermique 2012 (RT 2012), the French standard that aims to reduce energy needs, which are particularly high in the building sector. It requires new buildings to have a primary energy consumption of less than 50 kWh/m²/year. Which makes its sustainability environmental as well as visual.
Acoustic engineer: BET Yves Garnier
SPS Coordinator: Surbat
Structural engineer: ICES BTP
Landscaper: Thomas Gentilini
Technical inspection agency: Alpes Contrôle
Main contractor: Eiffage Construction Provence
Photographer: Luc Boegly
Thanks to v2com