Cité manifeste

  • Mulhouse, France
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A Colored Mutation

The eleven apartments are located on a triangular piece of land, on a street named “rue Lavoisier”, at the end of the city’s Schoettlé quarter.
The row of houses, which extends under a large free-running roof, marks both a limit and an entrance: two portals open wide on to the alleys of the worker’s housing estate.
The triangular shape of the land is used to escape the rigid orthogonal logic of the estate and to create long trapezoidal gardens. It is the exception that confirms the rule.
Each apartment is unique. Various angles in the common walls rhythm the composition. Life is perceptible through translucent peripheral walls. Woven wood partitions give the impression of belonging to a large garden.
The house itself is based on the dissociation between the roof (water tightness) and the interior walls. It is a house inspired by the poet and philosopher Bachelard, with an attic – additional space that will be fitted out later – and a ground floor between two gardens. An empty space in the centre helps link the different spaces and levels. Intermediary spaces between outside and inside allow residents to make the most out of the garden and truly appreciate the privilege of living in an individual house.
Once the geometry is worked out, the angles of the walls create spaces that give out onto interior and exterior perspectives.
Bright colour is everywhere: under the roof, on the windows, on the common walls. Each house is a coloured mutation, switching from orange to pink, blue to purple, green to lilac… This softens the perception of the industrial materials and suggests warm, domestic, rural life.


Jean Nouvel