Home » MVRDV completes ‘geological’ residential complex in France

MVRDV completes ‘geological’ residential complex in France

by Sion Geschwindt

Following the completion of its award-winning Valley development, MVRDV has finished Ascension Paysagère, a residential complex in Rennes, France which takes inspiration from “geological formations”.

Designed in collaboration with co-architects ALL, the project delivers 138 homes within the 12-story, 10,550 sq. metre scheme, including 37 social housing units and 42 affordable housing units. 34 apartments are built to the stringent Passivhaus standard.

The buildings are finished in five shades of grey, with dark and matte hues near to ground level, becoming lighter and glossier higher up. The stepped design creates a terrace space or balcony for every apartment.

The design places an emphasis on alternative modes of transport with 2,260 square feet of bicycle parking area, including dedicated spaces for cargo bikes and electric charging stations

“Ascension Paysagère takes inspiration from geological formations,” explained MVRDV. “The project comprises two curving buildings, one large and one small, with gradually receding slopes.

“By the river, and at points where the project approaches its neighbours, the buildings are low, acknowledging the expansive, low-rise context.

MVRDV Ascension Paysagère 2

“Elsewhere, however, the design gradually steps up into three peaks, reaching the maximum 12-story height in the centreof the site.

“The terraces created by these gradual step-backs are decked with pots filled with greenery, extending the lush atmosphere of the riverbank upwards to the apartments even at the very top of the building.

“On the western corner of the larger block, in between the building’s two ‘peaks,’ a garden including fruit trees emphasises this green approach.”

Nathalie de Vries, MVRDV’s founding partner, added: “With the river and the park opposite, the site offers a wonderful location for people to live. The challenge was to allow as many people as possible to live here without destroying those qualities.

“We do this by creating an ensemble of two buildings with silhouettes like small hills, covered with terraces and balconies to allow the inhabitants nice outdoor spaces that are already provided with large pots for plants and trees.”

Images courtesy: Ossip van Duivenbode/MVRDV

Read next: Construction starts on ‘living organism’ residential complex in Milan

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