Morangis Retirement Home
by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

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Doors, windows and recesses are picked out in yellow ochre on the timber facade of this retirement home near Paris by French studio Vous Êtes Ici Architectes (+ slideshow).

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

The four-storey Morangis Retirement Home was designed by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes with a Y-shaped plan that divides the interiors into three wings.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

Siberian larch is arranged in vertical strips over the exterior of the building and also forms canopies across the various entrances.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

The primary entrance is located at the junction of two wings and leads into the centre of the building. Additional entry points are positioned along the northern facade for service access.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

The ground floor of the building is taken up by communal rooms, health facilities and staff areas. Shared dining rooms, living rooms and other social areas are grouped together around the south-east elevation and open to a private residents' garden.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

Bedrooms occupy the three upper floors of the building. The first and second floors accommodate typical residents and are divided into clusters of 13 bedrooms, each with their own dining and activity room. Meanwhile, the third floor is dedicated to patients suffering from Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

Central corridors provide clear routes between the different sections of each floor. Rather than relying on artificial lighting, they each feature windows to bring in as much daylight as possible.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

The third floor also features two roof terraces with direct access to ground level via a pair of outdoor staircases.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

We've previously featured a nursing home in Portugal on Dezeen, which was this year shortlisted for the Mies van der Rohe Award.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

See more housing developments on Dezeen, or see more architecture in Paris.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

Photography is by 11H45.

Read on for more details from Vous Êtes Ici Architectes:


Ehpad de Morangis - Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

How could we build a socially orientated retirement home and never neglect comfort and sensorial fulfillment?

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

A retirement home for all

Based on an off-plan concept led by AXENTIA as a social contractor and IMMODIEZE as a private developer, the Morangis Retirement Home was constructed with financial support from the Conseil Général de l'Essone, Regional support as well as the Regional Health Agency and the town of Morangis.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

The operator and tenant of the new building is an Autonomous Public Establishment that offers stays as low as €60 per day. This low and democratic offer was attained without sacrificing the quality of service or the finish of the construction.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

An orientated building

The building is constructed on 4 levels and is based on a Y-shaped plan. The building occupies the site as follows:
1) The main public entrance is located where the "Y' strands connect
2) The north façade is dedicated to service, deliveries and employee's entrance
3) The south façade is generously opened towards the residents private park

The plan is organized according to a few constraints: compact, rational and open towards the outside.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes

The living areas as well as the main activities areas (restaurant, salon) are developed around the private gardens. These areas benefit from the view and easy dedicated access to the gardens. The gardens include therapeutically themed spaces as well as more traditional paths around flower beds and a rose garden.

The rooms on floor one and two are dedicated to classical geriatric residents, the rooms are disposed into 6 units of 13 rooms each.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

The third floor is dedicated to patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other similar neurological disorders. The floor includes vast dedicated spaces for specialized activities, rest and well-being.

All the floors are accessible from the central node intersecting all of the buildings functions and patient units.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
Cross section one - click for larger image

Views and light for all

One of the base lines of this project is to offer, all through the construction and all its sleeping units, framed views. Each unit has a main gathering area for activities or meals as well as a smaller area placed in front of loggia or suspended gardens. All these small areas include large windows and quality framed views.

The corridors, usually blind and suffocating spaces, always include wider spaces with outside views, this allows our elders to move around at their pace towards lights and rest areas in the buildings circulations, they may easily meet and chat with fellow residents without having a difficult and stressing path to do so.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
Cross section two - click for larger image

The third floor has two large terraces easily accessible to the residents. These terraces, widely orientated towards the park, are treated as a prolongation of the inner spaces.

On an individual's point of view, the building rooms were designed differently with windows offering distant views of the countryside and treated as hotel rooms more than hospital rooms. The windows all designed with a glass panel to the floor allowing bedded residents to have a view.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
Cross section three - click for larger image

Materials and Volumes

A unique volume with different spaces: unity is not uniformity.

On the outer skin wrapping the building, openings are pierced following no specific symmetry; the sculpted facades offer various views and volumes behind the outer skin.

This envelope covering the building is made out of Siberian larch wood; these wooden boards are warm and comforting. The outer skin vibrates according to the sun and time of the day. The larch boards are top quality solid wood, they are butted together to prevent deformation and to remove defaults.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
South elevations - click for larger image

Wooden awnings extend the facades skin away from the building creating shelter from the sun and rain and protecting the ground floor's salons and restaurants.

Every time the outer skin is punched in to form a dent in the global volume this corresponds to a specific socializing space: inner rest areas widely opened towards the park or the third floors terraces. The "dents" allow the sun and the light to reach in deeply into the building for those whom have difficulties moving about. As soon as the outer skin is breached to create a volume a different material and color is used to outline these inner volumes. A warm orange to yellow coating has been applied on the outer walls exaggerating the warmth of the light. The ambiance is friendly and warm and the yellow resonates nicely with the natural warmth of wood. As a result the dynamic spaces we offer are worth the effort needed to reach by elderly people.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
East elevations - click for larger image

This bright and lively color, stimulating without being aggressive, is also the one used for the window and door frames of the facades found under the awnings and in the bedrooms. As one approaches the building and passes below the awnings towards the yellow coating, as he is welcomed, will feel and understand the building's harmony. One will easily understand how the building works and how it is connected to its natural and urban surroundings.

Morangis Retirement Home by Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
North elevation - click for larger image

Developer: Immodieze and AXENTIA for the Conseil General du 91
Architects: Vous Êtes Ici Architectes
Location: Morangis southern Parisian suburb
Program: Retirement home with 91 rooms
Cost: 9.4 million euros
Calendar: First building permit 2010, final delivery 2013
Area: 5315 sqm, 46 parking spaces, total plot area 9950 sqm
Partners and collaborators: Dumez IDF (general contractor), FACEA (fluids engineering) LECARPENTIER (exteriors and landscaping) SPOOMS (kitchen engineering) CAP HORN (Acoustics engineering) LAPOINTE (roads and water engineering)

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    I thought yellow was supposed to make one feel psychotic?! I assume they have planned the yellow to look great with the larch when it turns silver as it clashes badly right now.

  • vee

    That timber with the orange/yellow looks sad.

  • mrswoo

    What Kate and Vee said, and it certainly isn’t yellow ochre, which wouldn’t be any better.

    Hideous combination as it stands.

  • mrswoo

    It’s shocking pink that makes one feel psychotic, allegedly – they tested it in prisons, which was rather dumb.

  • http://www.laperla-bar.com paulindr

    And I thought Dezeen took trouble to check its articles for spelling errors. It’s not spelt r-e-t-i-r-e-m-e-n-t – the correct spelling is p-r-i-s-o-n. Well, it is a prison isn’t it?

    Honestly though, this must rank as the ugliest building I have EVER seen. Even the word ugly doesn’t do justice to just how ugly this building appears in the images. The colours simply shock – there’s no chance of peace or tranquility here, in fact, abundant noise would be an attractive distraction from the glaring colour!

    Then there is the shape. A ‘Y’? Exactly! Why? But even more seriously, everything is so square. It’s hard, not soft. It grates against one’s nerves. I’m writing this while my girlfriend watches TV beside me. She cast a glance to see what I was doing. As she saw this building for the first time, the words that careered out of her mouth were ‘how ugly’. ‘Stimulating without being aggressive’ they say – who’s kidding who?

  • james

    My two favourite materials, wood and orange!

  • http://www.theenglisheye.com Mr J

    It desperately needs softening with plants, shrubs and hanging baskets.

    And (gulp) I hope they like yellow.