Author(s): Gilles PERRAUDIN

Social housing Monges-Croix-du-Sud

The site for 20 social housing units is located in the new Monges-Croix-du-Sud designated development area in the municipality of Cornebarrieu near Toulouse. The developer’s goal is to promote construction of a new housing neighbourhood near the nature that is very present in the region.

The principles

The design of the housing units is based on architectural principles that we develop regularly in our projects:

– The housing units pass through in the North/South direction to provide good ventilation in summer

– We gave preference to using materials that are sound on the one hand and that have very high inertia on the other hand (solid stone). The 40 cm-thick structural stone used here strengthens the inertia and enhances summer comfort. Combined with night-time cross ventilation, it provides indispensable comfort in summer

– The living spaces are extended to the south with broad enclosed balconies. These spaces, made liveable by their comfort in intermediate seasons and in summer, increase the “liveable” area of each housing unit

– The housing units are entered through the enclosed balcony, a system that increases the privacy of the apartments

– The project gave preference to using renewable resources integrated into the architecture, in particular with photovoltaic cells on the garage roofs

– The materials were used without finish, paint, or coatings. Thus the joinery and blinds are made of solid wood left raw to burnish over time. The the interior and exterior walls remain untreated

– The bedrooms are laid out on the north side, which is calmer, and have a view of the forest. The kitchens and living rooms are arranged on the south side with a view of the park in the middle of the designated development area

Project economics

Created with a social housing budget (1150 euros/m2), this design shows the great modernity of stone construction that is perfectly adapted to the requirements of current housing.

The virtues of stone

Solid stone allows very rapid, “budget” construction. There are very few construction site annoyances, and building time is reduced.

Its properties of inertia, phase difference, and hygrothermal regulation make it a sound and lasting construction material. Any potential recycling will be limited to dismantling and reuse of the stones identically to the initial use.

This design is an essential stage in rediscovering an architecture that includes sound and efficient comfort principles. It is intended to eliminate wall insulation that cuts off the resident from respiration with the natural environment. It returns humans to a dynamic relationship with the environment, a respectful relationship.

Function : 20 social housings