Completed in 2011, the Collective Eco-Housing “La Canopée” was realized by Patrick Arotcharen and Carole Magot from Patrick Arotcharen Architecte on an area of 3800 sqm in Bayonne, France. Studying the site, the architects opted for a design that not only responds to its clients, but also to the environment. Therefore, the housing experience resides in several timber cabins that intertwine themselves with the surrounding woods. Eco-friendly and site specific. On this narrow and slightly irregular site (5000m2), the 50 housing units are grouped into two principal residential entities. 38 collective units are linked by raised walkways to 12 individual houses dotted around the existing organic network of trees. Hoisted up, as if on stilts, the project mimics the playful nature of the vegetation and trees. The built environment distinguishes itself from the service ‘zones’ and landscaping at street level offering up a habitat, which brushes up directly against the surrounding foliage.

The timber walkways erected at first floor level, flirting with the tall trees offer up a sensory and dreamlike pathway among the vegetation.
All the apartments and houses are dual aspect with a living space entirely glazed (6m long) orientated mainly south, extendable by a private timber external balcony space (12m2) and visually protected by the careful use of timber sun shade screens and balustrades with built in flower boxes overflowing with vegetation.

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