House Extension in Montrouge, France
A limestone house built at the beginning of the 20th century in a suburb of Paris has been extended with two new volumes at the rear. Both have a framed timber structure and are oriented to a secluded garden. The house is divided into three spatial zones. The “public” living room, which occupies the whole of one of the new volumes, has its own entrance and a large window overlooking the garden. The semi-private areas consist of a painter’s studio on the ground floor of the other new volume and the dining room in the existing house. The third zone comprises the private spaces: the sleeping gallery, and the children’s bedrooms in the old building. The additive nature of the extension is expressed by the contrast of materials between old and new. The two new volumes are also differentiated from each other: one has an apparently seamless timber facade, while the joints in the other are articulated with cover strips. Both new structures are distinguished internally and externally by the use of darkly gleaming exotic timbers. The large pivoting shutters on the ground floor are like movable furnishings. When open, they form an integral part of the outer wall, with which they are set flush. The sleeping gallery above the studio can be darkened by pivoting wood panels, the supporting structure of which also functions as a balustrade and shelf. Steep wood staircases with staggered steps link the lower levels of the children’s bedrooms with the actual sleeping quarters beneath the roof.