Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

COLLECTIVE HOUSING BEL-AIR

Deschenaux Architects

ARCHITECTS
Deschenaux Architects

PHOTOGRAPHS
Rasmus Norlander

CATAGORY
Apartments

MANUFACTURERS
Kästli Storen, Schenker Storen, Aebischer AG, Antiglio, Carsa, Charpentes Vial, Charrière, Davet revêtements de sol Sàrl, Grégoire Progin, Jacques Klaus Sàrl, PORTES BRODARD, Raboud Energie

LOCATION
Villars-sur-glâne, Switzerland

AREA
2030 m²

YEAR
2021

The project is located in Villars-sur-Glâne, in Fribourg’s surroundings. The quiet area is facing the countryside. Architectural quality should not be reserved for the owners of their housing.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

Behind the road, the field is still cultivated, and the trees are still populated with birds, which give the place a feeling of the passing of time. Moreover, the site is close to the city center.

This lucky situation demands an ambitious project to build apartment buildings for rental with high-quality materials and spaces while handling the budget.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

The two similar buildings are situated lengthwise, from north to south, following the need to optimize the plot.

This constraint drives the whole project from the structure to the typology of the apartments, as well as the dormer window’s dimensions. Each floor is composed of two symmetrical apartments.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

Right after entering an apartment, you can see a long wall that stretches until the south, against which all the rooms are built up.

In the end, the dining room is immersed in light, and the loggia overlooks the trees and the nearby meadow.The materiality of the project is driven by both a contemporary expression and traditional constructive rules.

The composition is classical a base with the garage and the entrance, the main body with two floors, and a top with the attic and its shaped roof.

The construction details reveal the same reference to the past. The corners are sculpted like cornerstones. The rabbets in the openings refer to the classical moldings of a stone building.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

Another contrast gives richness to the project. The matter is both present and absent somehow. It is present, thanks to the concrete which expresses a heavy and sculpted mineral block.

It is however absent, thanks to the openings that hollow out the matter and reveal the context rather than the construction itself.

The other openings reflect the surroundings and the light variations, thanks to the glass and the stainless steel. Even the roof can merge into the sky.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

An ethical issue finally guides the project. Every place where a person lives should welcome the inhabitant with some charm and nobility, even a new build.

Here, noble materials have been chosen, which allow for a change over time. The stainless-steel expresses fineness, and the raw oak gives warmth.

The idea of nobility is especially found on the top floor, where the spaces get higher, and the elements get taller.

Doors and windows, furniture and tiles, everything help to offer the inhabitant a generous place to live.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

Finally, the feeling of being home begins from the entrance of the building.When walking along the wall, you discover the spaces one to one, each of them with its privacy, its function, it's opening.

The high and textured glazing of the stairwell allows the space to be filled with the outside atmosphere, the trees and the wind are felt from the inside.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander
Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander

Thanks to the high glazing of the stairwell, the oaken doors, and the carpet made from natural vegetable fibers, the cozy atmosphere makes you want to get rid of your shoes as soon as you enter this big house.

Collective Housing Bel-Air
© Rasmus Norlander


Collective Housing Bel-Air
Site plan

Collective Housing Bel-Air
Ground floor

Collective Housing Bel-Air
Typical floor plan

Collective Housing Bel-Air
Roof plan


Collective Housing Bel-Air
Longitudinal section
Collective Housing Bel-Air
Transverse section


Collective Housing Bel-Air
North elevation
Collective Housing Bel-Air
East elevation
Collective Housing Bel-Air
South elevation
Collective Housing Bel-Air
West elevation