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Nimes, France
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Nimes is a French city located in the south near the Mediterranean Sea. The remains of Roman times made this city famous, and has numerous buildings, amphitheaters, aqueducts. The area has a very good climate in much of the year and its people have the habit of living far away from home, making use of public space.

The objective for Nemausus housing was to meet the needs of a society in constant transformation and build houses at low cost. Real idea stems from the need to define what is a good apartment. Nouvel defined as simply an apartment as large as possible. A good apartment is flexible, able to convert. A good cheap apartment in a democratic sense. To rationalize the use of land, located in the garage floor, half-buried, following a municipal ordinance but also to the parking lot does not limit the visual and from the outside of the package. Nouvel poses two buildings almost parallel elongate boat-shaped, one shorter than the other. Between one half of them projected park and public space that gives ownership to the residents. They kept two strips of trees that once formed an arboretum, and run along the entire package. The two buildings with parking on ground floor semi-buried, and three upper floors of apartments. In total there are 114 housing units distributed in the set, with simple types of duplex and triplex (studios, one bedroom house with double height, etc). The total area is habitable 10.400m2, so the average of each dwelling is 91m2 (well beyond the traditional social housing). Building access is via stairs located on the common area of the half, separated from each ship. They are complemented elevators stuck on the inside of each body, right in the middle of them. Horizontal circulations are located throughout the length of each volume, covering three floors. These movements are made to methods of "high street", with a considerable width to travel on foot or by bicycle, to serve as common space for interaction among neighbors and expansion of housing. At the opposite facade, which faces the street and adjacent buildings, this is repeated a footbridge but in this case is used in private practice for each unit. It is used as a sole or balcony space saved. Towards each side of these passages, the walls are opened outward, expanding the boundaries of each dwelling.

In Nemausus, the architect tries to enhance the area, providing as much light, take the flow of air, and issues for the time seemed discredited, or neglected. Currently, people living in these buildings was very young. In fact, 80% have less than 35 years, and the largest has 51 years of age. Of these people, 20% are unemployed, 3% are workers, 20% are employees, 31% of middle class / educated, 19% students, and 7% other categories.


In order to lower costs, the building structure was designed in a practical and rational. The two volumes are based on a series of columns placed every five meters, which surround the parking space. This decision follows the idea of allowing visual continuity on either side. Resting on these columns load-bearing walls that divide each apartment, which are repeated in the same way throughout the three floors. This module generates the same way throughout the building, which combined with one another, create different types.

The only exception to the modulation of the walls are prepared every 5 meters, is in the center of the nave, where it is severely broken with two walls to find a shorter distance, and there put the elevators. The stairs are off from each building and have an independent steel structure. His connection with the horizontal flow is through bridges.

The materials on Nemausus are given by this particular image so radical. On the occasion of saving money, Nouvel conceived of his work with industrial materials and prefabricated items easy replication and assembly.

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bostjan, January 16th, 2017
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