House M / Taillandier Associated Architects
Text description provided by the architects. The House M project is the construction of a single-family house in the residential district of Minimes, in the heart of the center of Toulouse (Occitanie region, France). Neighborhood homes are generally located in deep plots and often have a small secondary house at the end of the park called a “chartreuse,” as does this house. In this project, the plot is maintained and an extension has been created to accommodate the living area and parent’s suite to create a comfortable family home large enough for a family of four.
An annex containing the swimming pool and the guest house complete the brief. The extension to the initial plan is placed on the south side of the existing building so as to preserve the distinctive details of the facade. The choice of the stepped roof for the extension to the new volume allows it to slide under the overhanging part of the existing tiled roof and clearly distinguish itself from the traditional form of the existing structure, typical of the Toulouse region. It’s a twenty-first century reinterpretation of the chart.
The upper part of the stepped roof enhances the horizontal expression of the project and draws a defined horizontal line that slides below the brick detailing of the existing facade, while reducing the perceived depth of the roof structure. Under the roof that forms a thin concrete canopy, the extension consists of full-height glass facades that create complete transparency between the living areas and the gardens on either side.
The load-bearing structure is installed, and it combines the side concrete load-bearing wall and metal columns in order to completely free up the space of the living area as well as the facades of the load-bearing elements. The wing formed by the current scheme has been reorganized to accommodate two children’s rooms as well as the kitchen in the main section of the building where the ceiling is demolished to open up the space in the rooftop and create a more spacious room.
Both in the new annex as well as in the existing building, the new spaces created to accommodate service rooms, such as a wardrobe or bathroom, are designed as furniture elements illustrating the main living areas. The outbuilding is located at the front of the plot, within the vertical plane defined by the adjacent construction. It includes a guest suite, a bicycle storage room and a swimming pool. The exterior building, in keeping with the extension to the main house, is designed in prefabricated concrete that opens with large windows onto the garden. On the western facade, the openings for the technical areas and the kennel are made of expanded metal panels.
On the plot, every element of the project including the main extension, pool and outbuilding is placed in a sliding alignment with the blueprint building. The main entrance to the house is naturally placed in a double sided glass volume that connects the existing house to the main annex. Placing the main house at the back of the plot also creates a spacious open front yard and a smaller, more intimate back garden that opens up the parents’ bathroom as well as the children’s playroom.
The connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces is generous and consistent throughout the project, whether from the living room to the front yard or vice versa. The reference to Mies van der Rohe’s work is clear and fully recognised.