Bottière Chenaie by Block Architects


French studio Block Architects have completed a building Nantes, France, clad in multi-coloured stripes derived from the aesthetics of vegetable farms.

Called Bottière Chenaie, the block is constructed on land formerly used for farming vegetables.

The concrete building is clad in vertical, corrugated stripes of colour and comprises housing, public facilities and a school.

The mixed-use facilities are placed close together to promote an urban neighborhood.

The project has a maximum of five stories and lies within a rectangular block.

Photos are by Stéphane Chalmeau.

Here's some more information from Block Architects:


The project was established in an urban project located in France at the North East of the city of Nantes inside an old growing area.

The project proposes a strong identity, by redrawing this landscape.

The architectural design of the project proposes to reactivate the aesthetics linked to the vegetable production industry.

The urban block consists in a five compact levels building housing, public facilities and a school.

The entire plan folds in the geometry of the block and household spaces external courses.

Different parts of the program fit to articulate the complex areas of the project.

A concrete shell displays a geometry own alignment on the street and urban structure in attendance.

Dubbed a translucent skin echoing the past of the vegetable production industry, this layer provides a vibration chromatic facades and increases the expression of verticality of the project.

This principle is proposed for the entire project. Thus writing is a homogeneous unit block of a building mixed-use: education - housing - activities…

This formal intention, in addition to its impact, symbolically shows the quality program of urban neighbourhoods.

It consists generous image of a "architecture - signal", in resonance with the landscape.

Authors :
Block Architects: Principal architects
Guinée Potin Architects: associate architects
Collaborators: Solen Nico, Celine Monvoisin, Benoit Moreira
Engineer: Iosis, Itac, Gotec
School: City of Nantes (France)
Housing and public facilities : Harmonie Habitat (France)

Posted on Wednesday January 6th 2010 at 8:09 pm by Natasha Lyons. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • derma

    prison like spaces…

  • BH

    Too much attention and expensive spent on the exterior/cladding – zero effort on the interior! Isn’t that the bit people actually occupy? Prison indeed.

  • There are moments when architects should resist the temptation of being Johnny-know-alls when it comes to using colour & consult those who have a greater experience in that domain. There would be no shame in consulting a painter who specialises in that domain & it could actually benefit the outcome of their projects.

  • yamamoto

    I have to agree with BH. The interior looks grim and soul-less in comparison with the colourful exterior. Quite ironic I feel, especially when the building is meant for housing the elderly as well. I would have thought that the interior should use more pleasant materials like timber, other than the harsh concrete, for the elderly to feel more at home.

  • Enceladus

    in my opinion, the most attractive thing about the project is the tiny 3d diagram shown at the bottom… looks like a good site integration.
    the colorful facade is absolutely random and looks cheap…

  • INawe

    I think its the 3d diagram that is the major problem. the large masses is what is leading to all the double loaded corridors ultimately leading to the horrible prison like spaces. the finishes on the exterior i don’t mind… however there is something off-putting with the interior finishes (esp the flooring).

  • Tjep

    If lived all my life and ended up living in a place like that I think I would rather die early and skip the whole elderly housing phase.

  • cacas

    looks like an industry design… not apartments. but the colors combination is nice.
    maybe some green inside break the cool enviroment..

  • T.H.

    Looks like a strip mall from 1974 on the outside and a courthouse on the inside.. I get anxiety just looking at the pictures.

    I like the floor plan and design other than the front facade.