Continuous design which links interior and exterior, generous openings, contemporary lines, compact proportions, and superb energy economy.
You will find all this at Chazay-d’Azergues, in a Lyonnais villa designed by Dank Architectes. Set in the centre of the site, this dwelling has the occupants crossing between the interior and outside at the four cardinal points. “Each façade includes openings out onto the garden,” explains Thibaut Chanut, a partner in the agency and project leader for this building. “The doors and sliding glass doors are 2.5 or 2.80 metres high, to allow maximum light penetration and avoid shaded zones behind the lintels.” Dank Architectes has created a continuous link between the interior floor level and the outside : using the same tiles, the same grouting with a harmonious layout employing drainage channels embedded in the ground, hidden by removable tiles.
On the ground floor, the kitchen, the dining room, the terrace and the swimming pool face south and west. To the south and east, the sitting room and the office/multimedia space are as close as possible to the natural space, on a slight slope. Facing north and north-east are rooms only used occasionally: the guest bedroom and bathroom, along with the garage-workshop which acts as a thermal buffer. On the first floor are the three children’s bedrooms, the bathrooms and the master bedroom suite, which opens onto a terrace balcony which faces full south. ʺThe idea is to establish a light-coloured luminous base on the ground floor, which rises to the floor level on the first floor, creating a guard-rail at balcony level,” explains the architect.
Designed like an eye overlooking the garden, the sitting room is clad in Viroc panels (a wood-cement composite material). The exterior cladding becomes part of the interior fitted cupboards, where a variety of storage spaces are concealed in the apparent thickness of the walls.
Other strong agency signatures are ʺthe large openings and the continuation of the same building materials both inside and outside to ensure a good appreciation of volumes between the intimacy of the home and the garden outside.”
The design and the creation of tailor-made interior fittings integrate many ingenious storage solutions, using a wide palette of materials, shades and finishes.
The sitting-room glazing, recessed into the house, is on a fixed chassis of 2.5 by 2.5 metres. The uprights of the sliding doors are entirely flush-mounted in the floor, the walls and the ceiling. This “avoids the need for a threshold. We are very satisfied with the Profils Systèmes range. STBN Aluminium (Couzon-au-Mont-d’or, Rhône) has worked with Profils Systèmes before. With some types of flush mounting, we had already realised that they are at least as good, if not more effective, than rival firms: particularly the slimness of the fixings and the dimensions available for building. We wanted large sliding glass doors and they could do it! The frame is perfectly flush-fitted, there is nothing projecting. In summer, when the occupants (a couple and their three children, aged from 8 to 16 years) open the sliding doors, it creates a sensation of spaciousness.”
It was a very technical job and today it is a very good reference for our work,” says Sébastien Laurent, manager of STBN Aluminium. ʺWe were asked to achieve very high thermal insulation levels. We chose the Pazco® concealed handle aluminium window range by Profils Systèmes, which combines thermal insulation of the frame and a good capacity to allow natural light in. That was what was required. We also chose the sliding aluminium Satin Road® range available in very large sizes. The largest one in the villa measured 4.39 metres wide by 2.8 metres high, weighing 165 kilos! The uprights were included in the insulation and these are hidden. When the occupier opens the sliding door, there is no aluminium rail projecting, either from the floor, the ceiling or the sides. We had the know-how to install these elements on all four sides of the house. That’s more or less our signature style. When the sliding door is open, it allows continuity between the interior and the exterior. The person living there does not feel they are passing out through a window when they go out, they don’t have to step over anything; there is no frame visible. Everything is hidden by the stonework. Finally, we chose the diamond grey shade (Terra Cigala®), with an exclusive Profils Systèmes lacquer finish, for its spare and classic look. And the colour is guaranteed 25 years!
enerally, Profils Systèmes is the ideal supplier for this type of project, commissioned by a high-profile client. The results are very efficient in terms of thermal insulation, large sizes – not all windows can go up to 2.8 metres high for sliding windows – its sober, contemporary design, which corresponded to our client’s needs, both in terms of frame colours and in geometric forms.
Manufacturer / installer : STBN Aluminium / Opti Energie St Priest (69) - www.opti-energie.fr
External joinery : Satin Road® and Pazco® ranges (Profils Systèmes)
Works budget : 710 000€ TTC (excluding design costs: architects and building engineers)
Delivery : September 2013, following 10-month construction period
Photos : Frenchie Cristogatin