savioz fabrizzi architectes
invited competition for the design of housing for the troistorrents municipal authority
troistorrents municipal authority
1-bedroom and 2-bedroom flats, commercial and administrative premises, service areas, parking spaces, external landscaping
dates :competition december 2015
the project is accommodated in two buildings, which are adapted to the outline of the plots. these buildings run along the length of the road, forming part of the fabric of the village, while their dual-slope roofs adopt the general orientation at right-angles to the slope. the shared car park is sited in the basement, so as to leave the ground floor free for shops and offices. despite the need to excavate into sandstone, this solution is viable because it maximises the available area and uses the potential for a pedestrian circulation area offered by the ground floor.
the plot enjoys a strategic position, just a short walk from the railway station on the aigle-ollon-monthey-champéry line. with the aim of promoting sustainable travel, a central flight of steps forms a vertical link between the road and the new pedestrian footpath alongside the railway. it channels the flow of occupants, bringing them to the entrances to the apartments on the north-east side. this flight of steps is situated in a wider part of the public space between the two buildings, an area that also contains covered bicycle parking. this space is marked by a number of larch trees of various heights.
the buildings are further integrated into the traditional-style built environment by their roofs, which have two slanting portions, and by linear balconies.
special attention has been paid to the access to the apartments. the central flight of steps takes residents up to the second floor where, at the back, facing the railway, walkways lead to the apartments. the external walkway thus allows the apartments a space that runs across the width of the building, while also creating a meeting place that promotes social interaction between occupants. this community spirit is further promoted by the proposed meeting room on the first floor, directly adjacent to the central space.
the designs are dual-aspect, so that each apartment benefits from the view and the sunlight to the south, and a quieter space to the north. the walkway is widened in front of each apartment to accommodate pushchairs and storage facilities. on the valley side, it turns into a large balcony, where recesses in the façades provide privacy for the spaces outside each apartment.
these walkways are also a reminder of the tradition in the Val d'Illiez of large chalets that use a similar method of access.
the buildings are of solid construction. the reinforced concrete load-bearing system complies with the standards for seismic safety in construction, amongst others. concrete has the advantage of being economical, durable, and efficient in terms of acoustics. on the interior walls of the daytime living spaces, the material is exposed, whereas the bedroom walls are covered with wood panelling.
inspired by the vernacular buildings, the façades are covered by an envelope of pre-patinated larch wood. on the terraces, the traditional style is then reinterpreted, with the envelope consisting of shaped balcony uprights.
physics of the building
the intended type of construction provides efficient insulation, increasing occupants' comfort. the project meets the requirements of the swiss minergie P energy efficiency standard. the controlled ventilation system, besides being environmentally-friendly, is particularly suited to the location, as the windows can remain closed whatever the weather, providing adequate acoustic protection. this is particularly important because the road, and to a lesser extent the railway, are major sources of noise. the linear balconies form an acoustic barrier over the entire length of the north and south façades and the underside of these balconies consists of hollow sound-absorbing concrete. noise levels can also be reduced at source by a sound-absorbing macro-rough coating.
heat loss and noise penetration are also addressed by the use of triple-glazing with noise-reducing glass. for optimum comfort, heat is distributed via thermally-active slabs. these provide better distribution at low temperatures and are very cost-efficient in terms of energy use. heat is generated by a central wood-pellet system that exploits local sources of energy; there are two 20 kW boilers, one of them being a backup, and each building is metered separately. part of the buildings' daily energy requirement could be met via integrated photovoltaic panels if there is sufficient sunlight. in addition, the balconies offer passive solar protection to prevent overheating in summer.
lastly, the two compact buildings benefit not only from the thermal inertia of their solid construction but help to save resources overall via their unheated access walkways.