Author(s): Alexandre FAVE et Maryse QUINTON

House in Crac’h

In many ways, André Favé’s house in Crac’h in Brittany is a model, not from a formal perspective, but in consideration of what architecture can truly offer when it stems from a fertile dialogue between all the players of one same project.

In this tale, for it is a tale from many angles, there once were owners whose open-mind set the project alight. In a first while, there is no a priori, no demand, just the possibility of a complex location. Where others would have fled, they took charge. Without preconceived idea, they went forth, one foot at a time, adapting to the harsh constraints of a site that was difficult to tame.

Then there is the architect who, with his clients and faced with this difficult location – a wet, isolated prairie circled by tall trees – succeeded in showing his ingeniousness. Together, they elaborated hypothesis to validate and undertake a process that takes the form of a scientific, experimental game.

Then finally, there were the companies who agreed to review their habits to the sole profit of the project.

Because the plot is difficult to access, not linked to the facilities, administratively complex, it will spell out the equation to resolve. The collective intelligence, common sense we could say, will then take over. In Crac’h, the integration to the context does not seek the absolute deference using a mimetic approach. The project does not integrate its environment, but creates relations with its milieu, that which imposed the rules of the game.

The eminently responsible dimension of this house was not stated in a first while, and even less stated in the form of a performance to fulfil. Indeed, the couple wanted to have as little impact as possible on the environment and wanted to remain loyal to their lifestyle but did not seek demonstration in any way.

Alexandre Favé fully assumes the constructive dimension of the project. The project is split into two distinct volumes: the housing and a separate workshop accessible by a terrace that splits both areas. Over two levels, the project leans on a simple, rational geometry and a structure that is made legible by its repetitive 3,6 meters pattern. Beyond its efficiency, the modularity of the building system also responds to the wish of the clients of a house that can be evolutionary in time and space.

Felt upstream for its sustainable characteristics, the use of wood logically imposed itself in view of the limited access to the plot. Ecological facilities (phyto-remediation, recovery of rainwater, dry toilets) resulted from the adaptation to the constraints in place. The house functions autonomously, not through its intellectual posture but rather, by necessity. It is the result of an encounter between an architect, a family, their lifestyle and a milieu. And in the words of all the above, no compromise was made to the detriment of the quality of life and the pleasure of inhabiting.

Function : Private house