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Author(s): CoBe architectes

Le clos des fées

The development of the Clos des Fées is intended to be in phase with the societal challenges facing the rural world. It attempts to reconcile environment and collective living, sustainable development and housing.

The project is located in the municipality of Paluel, in Normandy. Sited on the edge of the village and facing the sea, there is a special value in incorporating the strengths of the site: changing lights, wind, plants, and the horizon.

The perspective that governed the organisation of the Clos des Fées is that of an environmental village. The systems established by the CoBe firm are intended to obtain positive effects from both environmental and social points of view. The structure built from natural materials and using local skills, as well as the natural rainwater treatment system come out of environmental design and ecology. To combat the isolationist mechanisms unique to suburbs, the neighbourhood was designed from the start as a generational meeting point. The site is home to facilities intended to attract local residents as well as neighbours: a town hall, a covered square, three artist studios, two holiday cottages, and a potting workshop. These programs were sited on a 2 hectare landscaped park comprising various public spaces: community gardens, park with rural species, play area for children, sports field for adolescents, etc.

The housing section, sited in keeping with the existing housing estate, includes 18 cottages. No fences or gates; a simple network of ditches delimits the lots. Following the example of traditional houses, their orientation was intended to protect the residents from the dominant winds. The walls of the houses are made of a wood frame and siding, traditional material reused in a contemporary way. The roofs use two materials: thatch, very prevalent in the region in the past, and zinc for the parts most exposed to the elements.

The project covers only half of the land initially allocated to the operation. This land reserve will undoubtedly attract newcomers, who will enrich and bring energy to the life of the village.

Function : Hamel