Historically, the habitat on stilts exists in reaction to its environment, as a way to extract itself from a hostile context and to protect itself. More than just an implementation in a wetland, it’s the stilts housing application in an urban environment that seems particularly interesting to us, as the legitimization of stilts otherwise than by the hydraulic risk.

Even if the stilts is inherently difficult to manage in its transition from the ground to the levels, it’s especially this point wich seemed to us precisely the heart of the project. The affirmation of the verticality by the elevation of the project above the ground, allows the condemnation of the groundfloor and the establishment of a protected and fantasmatic ecosystem. All the project is oriented around this ecosystem. The intensive planting of the ground floor allows a renaturation of the territory and a coexistence of housing and nature. The integration of the environment at the heart of the project is a new way of singularizing a habitat. On a larger scale, the repetition of this process, allows to create a network of ecosystems favoring the fauna and the flora in town.

By elevating the project from the ground, we wanted create a kind of a lacustrian town, The edifice is organized around a ubiquitous and inacessible vegetation. In order to maintain a sufficient density with an habitat on stilts, it was necessary to cover the entire site by a structural grid. Then this process is destructured to generate a balance between full and void, and at the same time to escape from an inhospitable environment by turning to its central ecosystem.

Inside, the building offers a gradation, from common spaces towards the intimate dwelling. The groundfloor is transformed into a real landscape, highlighting the ascent to the dwellings, which induces the establishment of a common level on the first floor. The first floor organizes the circulation, and supports different uses thanks to common equipments. On the higher levels, the simplex or duplex units imbricate together, making each access unique. Finally, apartments are widely open to the outside, improving the relation between housing and vegetation.

Fundamentally this project thinks the housing on stilts as a singular way of living.


architects: Ariane Marty, Morgan Baufils, Hugues Hernandez  |  client: Agora Bordeaux  |  status: Competition (2017)  |  location: Bordeaux, France (44.853704, -0.547835)  |  climate: Oceanic / maritime, Temperate  |  material: concrete  |  environments: Industrial, Urban, Riverside  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: large  |  types: housing, residential  |  views: 4.896