Les Arcades du Lac, Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines Building, French Project, Design, Property
Les Arcades du Lac, France : Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines Building
Les Arcades du Lac France – design by Ricardo Bofill : Architecture Information
Les Arcades du Lac, Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines
Architect : Ricardo Bofill – ‘Taller de Arquitectura
English text (scroll down for Spanish):
Les Arcades du Lac, Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
This, the first major project by the Taller de Arquitectura to be built in France, forms part of the villes nouvelles policy which the French government adopted for the outskirts of Paris: whole towns created from scratch in order to ease the congestion in the city centre and promote orderly growth while avoiding as far as possible the creation of mere suburbs. As well as being the first of Bofill’s constructions in France, this scheme constitutes a significant landmark in the history of the Taller de Arquitectura. In the texts of the time which served to introduce the project, the point of departure was established as being the relationship between technology and architectural history, thus defining and seeking to combine avant la lettre the two different tendencies which were subsequently taken up the movement known as postmodernism.
A product of the darkest moment of the crisis of the 70s, this is a project which seeks to resolve the acute housing problem speedily and economically. The form and distribution of the blocks of apartments is based on the elements of a French garden, introducing a considerable change of scale and transforming the hedges into buildings. This layout made it possible to generate the public spaces basic to the formation of the town: the street and the square. The street as the place of circulation, and the square as the place for meetings and get-togethers. Thanks to the large underground car park which links all the blocks together, all of the streets are exclusively pedestrian, some of them flanked by porticoes.
The orthogonal layout of the blocks, streets and squares also evokes a solution adopted on a number of historic occasions, from the Hippodamus of Miletus to New York, by way of La Valette and Ildefons Cerdà’s Barcelona. The simplicity of the orthogonal organization is amply justified by the functional efficiency, all the more so in times of crisis such as the period from which the scheme dates. The compositional analysis of the French garden was not restricted to a reproduction of its forms, but was a genuine attempt at creating a garden city, in which the vegetation and the lake play a fundamental part. The notable presence of the lake prompted the construction of and the form adopted for new blocks of housing built out over the water in a return to the famous over the water in a return to the famous French tradition of building castles on bridges, especially in the Loire region. The Taller de Arquitectura’s final concern, at the moment of the project’s starting on site, focused on the danger arising from the ease with which the urban model they had evolved could be picked up and copied without a similar recreation of the rigorous analysis which necessarily preceded their scheme. In time, their misgivings were in part confirmed, and the postmodern movement that was then beginning to emerge was discredited by an unthinking vulgarization comparable to that suffered in its time by the Modern Movement.
389 subsidized apartments grouped in four square blocks with a spacious interior courtyard, accessible from the street. The buildings consist of ground floor and three upper floors. The decision to observe a maximum depth of only 8-10 (26′-33′) metres to the apartment blocks means that all the houses have dual orientation. The stairs are located in pavilions which project out from the façade, serving two doors to a landing and giving direct access to the car park.
Les Arcades du Lac – Building Information
program of dwellings and public spaces with plazas and gardens on the shores of an artificial lake.
Les Arcades du Lac, Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines, Francia
El primer gran proyecto del Taller de Arquitectura construido en Francia forma parte de la política de villes nouvelles emprendida por el Gobierno francés para la periferia parisiense, ciudades creadas a partir de cero para descongestionar el dentro de la capital y propiciar un crecimiento ordenado evitando los suburbios en la medida de lo posible. Aparte de ser el inicio de las construcciones de Bofill en Francia, este proyecto marca un hito importante dentro de la historia del Taller de Arquitectura. En los textos de la época que sirvieron de presentación del proyecto, se establece como punto de partida la relación entre tecnología e historia de la arquitectura, definiendo e intentando combinar avant la lettre las dos tendencias diferentes que tomaría el moviendo llamado posmoderno.
389 viviendas sociales agrupadas en cuatro manzanas cuadradas con un amplio patio interior accesible desde la calle. Los edificios disponen de planta baja y tres pisos. La decisión de dar solamente un espesor de 8-10 metros a los bloques de viviendas permite que todos los apartamentos puedan tener doble orientación. Las escaleras están situadas en unos pabellones que sobresalen de las fachadas, sirviendo a dos puertas por rellano y permitiendo el acceso directo al aparcamiento.
Les Arcades du Lac – Building Information
programa de viviendas y espacios públicos con plazas y jardines a orillas de un lago artificial.
Les Arcades du Lac image / information from Ricardo Bofill
Les Arcades du Lac design : Ricardo Bofill
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image from architect
Les Arcades du Lac architect : Ricardo Bofill
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Les Arcades du Lac Building