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Hamonic + Masson & Associés, Nantes, France, apartment tower

Focus on communality: New’R apartment tower in Nantes by Hamonic + Masson

The two volumes that Hamonic + Masson & Associés started out with in their planning evolved during the design process into a single high-rise, one that shows consideration for its surroundings and takes sightlines and the movement of the sun into account.  Four volumes that form a whole are the result. The design's focus on layering counteracts any effect of massivity, and along with the differing number of storeys and the varied tower heights contributes to the building's subtly light and airy feel. Rounded corners and undulating balcony and terrace areas are further features of the high-rise, which despite its considerable size is dynamic, almost organic in effect.

The complete exterior is in white. On the lower floors the balcony parapets consist of perforated elements with integrated planters; higher up, they take on the form of simple railings to provide better views. As a result, the lower sections are more closed in effect while the higher ones are more transparent in appearance.

The functions within the tower block centre around the central idea of community.  The ground floor zone, which contains a mix of parking, retail units and offices, is primarily concerned with fostering interaction between the building and its urban setting. The result is a lively place that underscores its connectedness with the surroundings. The apartments – 156 altogether – are located above this level and with their differing sizes and floor plans reflect the diversity of the occupants and their varied requirements.

Communal roof terraces are to foster a feeling of togetherness. A greenhouse has been set up on one of these spaces as well as areas in which own vegetables can be grown in a cooperative effort; workshops are especially offered on this subject. A generously-dimensioned conservatory provides a congenial setting for celebrations and events.

The New’R building is a manifesto, a built declaration of the views that Hamonic + Masson & Associés hold about future-proof architecture. In this respect housing projects that place special emphasis on the residents are a matter of personal importance to the architects.

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