Photos credit: Lacaton Vassal Architects

Built in the early 1960s in Bordeaux, France, the demolition of these three social housing buildings was ruled out when they were assessed for renovation.  A decision to carry out a deep energy renovation that would also increase useable space, improve daylighting and significantly upgrade comfort followed.

The project consisted of the transformation of three, fully occupied, modernist social housing buildings that are part of the regeneration of the ‘Cité du Grand Parc’ in Bordeaux.  There are 530 dwellings in the renovated buildings and the tenants are particularly pleased to have larger more comfortable homes to live in.

In order to reduce the duration of the works, the construction used prefabricated modules to add a winter garden to each apartment, and those living in the buildings did not have to move out while the renovation works were being done.  The rent also did not increase for the inhabitants of the buildings.

Finally, in every building the existing elevators were replaced by newer, and bigger ones, built to improve vertical circulation.  On the ground-floor of the building, changes were made to the access halls to make them more open, and transparent.  The overall energy performance of the building has been improved by 60% thanks to the installation of the winter-gardens, and the insulation of the north façade of the buildings.


Principal Characteristics of the Renovation Works:

Ownership type: Public body
Year of construction: Circa 1962
Renovation completed: 2016
Floor area after works: 67,500m²
Structure: Original prefabricated, reinforced concrete sandwich panel system was covered to the south with new winter gardens and to the north with insulated ETICS system
Heating and energy: New heat recovery ventilation was installed and all electrical installations renewed
Energy performance: Energy savings after works reached 60%
Cost of works: €28m (€415 per m²)
Architect: Anne Lacaton and Jean Philippe Vassal, Frederic Druot and Christophe Hutin
Technical consultants: Secotrap Ingenerie, CESMA and Cardonnel Ingenerie

Article from Architect Magazine on the Grand Parc renovation project Transformation of 530 dwellings – Grand Parc Bordeaux:

Article from The Guardian Grand Parc, Bordeaux review – a rush of light, air and views, by Catherine Slessor, 12/05/2019

Article from Grand Parc Bordeaux Wins 2019 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, by Niall Patrick Walsh

Lacaton & Vassal website post on the Grand Parc renovation project

Bordeaux 2030 blogpost on Le Grand Parc