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Author(s): Cécile Gaudoin architecte et Yvan Le Goff, habitant, Maison de l'Architecture de Bretagne

Group cooperative housing

The Cie.Rit is the name of a housing collective of 4 households brought together around “common” desires to live while sharing spaces property and ways of doing things.

A desire to (re) appropriate real estate: they implemented a concrete self management experience, providing self help and most of the construction.

They also wanted to incorporate environmental, social, and cultural dimensions by surrounding themselves with the skills of architectural professionals, and the know – how and resources of their friends to help them give shape to their project.

“… The collective was structured as a cooperative and functioned horizontally. These choices, which are a practical form of self management, with an economic value that was shown to be highly significant, were factors in a search for autonomy, emancipation, and more collective and environmentally-friendly ways of living. They constitute a political engagement.” (Yvan, resident)

The project combines a dream and poetry with pragmatism: doing what we want, together, making it simple and efficient, all while saving time and resources.

Housing at La Cie.Rit is located on a lot in the town centre of St. Germain sur Ille, a little village on a train stop near Rennes (Brittany).

The spatial layout attempted to offer a common transition area with multiple potential uses, between public space, technical areas and private areas. This “interior street” distributes housing units along the depth of the lot and offers housing that spans the North/South direction.

In a regular wood post and beam frame, self construction allowed types adapted to households and budget without extra cost. The scalability of family structures and lifestyles was planned from the design phase. For example, two superimposed housing units allow bedrooms to be transferred from one family to another (one without children and the other with young adults); the common workshop can change into a workplace or shop; the common room is simultaneously a play room for children, a work and meeting area for parents, and a film and party room at night; lastly the volume of the interior street offers potential for future housing extensions.

This cooperative housing project was completed in 3 years thanks to educated, organised, and invested residents; A rare example of its kind in self-constructed cooperative housing in France.

Programme : 4 logements groupés