The presented design considers the conclusions and the features of the previous studies and tests.
The urban fabric of the city of Esch sur Alzette has been generated through continuous housing developments for both the industrial workers and the steel industry population composed by engineers and emerging bourgeoisie of the past century. We studied different parts of the city of Esch/Alzette (and enlarged Minett region), to get a feeling on how the city has developed, but also on how many of these houses have been restored and renovated, and in the case of worker houses, enlarged and extended over time, to fit current needs.
For us, the most sustainable house, is he one that lasts over the longest possible period of time. What can we learn from those existing houses, which obviously are resilient?
We learned about
1. The adequacy of appropriate proportions at human scale.
2. The importance of creating a transition between public space and private space, by different means, such as front and back gardens, semi public parcs, terraces and the huge diversity of outside spaces of inner courtyards.
3. The capacity of spaces to be enlarged or divided, according to the needs of its inhabitants.
4. The quality of the structure, technologies and material used for the construction (wood, stone, steel and concrete).
Reference : Le programme architectural de la Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks-AG (1910-1913), Les habitations à bon marche (1921-1938), Les maisons de maîtres rue Emile Mayrisch (1920-1930), Logements de l’ARBED (1947-1956), Cite Eugene Riechling (1950-1951), Les habitations à bon marche aux quartiers Brouch, Lankelz, Lallange (1951-1962 / 2012-2014) Cité du Cinquantenaire (1955-1956), Cite de l’Artisanat (1958).
Source : G. Buchler, J. Goedert, A. Lorang, A. Reuter, D. Scuto « ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE GUIDE HISTORIQUE ET ARCHITECTURALE » ed. CAPYBARABOOKS, 2020
Defining adequate proportions, a combination of housing typologies and spaces open to public
A double roofing system is implemented in order to separate the shelter from the spatial delimitation. In-between the two roofs, a landscape becomes an extension which can be used in different ways. The big roof will cover and protect against rain and sun. The structure is adapted by multiplying the module of 1,35m based the REDUCE project. The roofs underneath the big roof cover and subdivide spaces beneath.
The combination of the different spatial typologies generates different situations between in and outside: a patio, a forecourt and a terrace, an exterior access to a tribune.
The volume is meant to become, whenever needed, a multifunctional space where a group of visitors can meet and address various subjects.
The rest of the house, meant for RESTING/SLEEPING, GATHERING/HOSTING, COOKING, BATHING, STUDYING\WORKING and MEDITATINg, is organized to filter privacy.
The project opens towards the south, facing Maison du Savoir, and generates a junction between its volumes, the plaza (future pépinière) and the parking lot. This extension of the public space through the house is continued and highlighted with the facing tribune that gives access to the terrace.
Conclusions of the study:
The double roofing system should be extended over the footprint of the house in order to be more effective at protecting the ensemble.
1. As the project is both a meeting point and a residential unit, it has to generate privacy, (walls, openings, stairs, etc) which should become more versatile for the public activities (sliding and hanging walls, different types of partitions, curtains, plants, etc.). By doing so, the aim is to reach the flexibility to open totally or close sequentially the entire space.
2. The spaces should be less divided in a permanent manner, but remain flexible as much as possible, to be enlarged or reduced.
3. The public space will be a smooth extension of the plaza.
4. The design aims at simplifying its current organization, without giving up the qualities and the ambitions of the research.
5. The qualities of each space have to be checked in a critical manner, according to views, light, orientation, intimacy, etc…
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All the best, Carole, Sophie and Dragos