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© Armel Istin


Design: Patrice Bideau, architect Photo credit: Armel Istin


In 2001, the initial owner needed a house build according to the French RT 2005 energy regulations by incorporating wood and metal, spacious rooms and geothermal heating. The house required to be accommodated into an ancient orchard located in the Pluvigner village of South Brittany.

Complying with these specifications, the architect came up with a bioclimatic design integrating a wood and concrete frame, metal beams and a zinc clad arched roof which provided a quality of comfort, practicality and space. In a break with tradition, the harmonious lines of the house influenced by organic architecture thus set up a habitat close both to nature and its inhabitants.

Facing the South-East direction with a North facing facade, this house is  built of concrete breeze blocks and doubling with filler. 195/45mm and 120/45mm pine with Rock wool insulation and a vapour shield are used on 3/4 of the wood frame. Red Cedar is used for cladding. In the interiors, the arched ceiling and walls are made of OSB panels to indicate a contrast with the painted concrete walls.

The house sets on a concrete floor comprising a crawlspace which provides important heat collection. 220mm Rock wool is used to insulate the ceiling, 120mm wood is used for the walls and 100mm concrete.

Maximum sun exposure is provided by the large picture windows which help cut down on heating in winter. On the other hand, protection from the sun is provided by the sliding shutters, the carports and roof overhangs on the summer. Being a massive structure, the house preserves the cool of the night.

On the west side of the house the main door and garage are placed. The first floor consist of the children’s bedroom and bathroom, while on the ground floor the master bedroom with walk-in wardrobes and en suite bathroom are planned on the north side of the house with an eastern view.

The kitchen adjoining the carport on the south east side is changed into an outdoor dining space for the family to enjoy in the summer by the new owners.

A direct view of the garden and the wooded grounds is offered in the living room and mezzanine.

In 2002, the RT 2005 norm for the energy performance was 110 Kwehe/m2 while the planned energy performance for this house was 61 Kwhe/m2.

In developing the décor and working out the significant “bioclimatic garden”, the current owners have given new life to the house, thus fulfilling the original intention to concord with the “Gaia Charter”.