Saint-Ange Residency

For this apartments building in Tour Saint-Ange’s park, France, Odile Decq conceived a black, monolithic architecture that twists to reach the view beyond the valley.

Studio odile Decq,  Saint-Ange Residency, Seyssins, France
The placement of the Saint-Ange Residency, on the lower side of the plateau of Tour Saint-Ange’s park, beyond the vegetable garden, under the trees and on the slope leading toward the Grenoble’s golf course – was definitively a challenge.
The site is beautiful for its unobstructed view on Grenoble’s valley, but difficult for its hard and narrow slope.
Studio Odile Decq,  Saint-Ange Residency, Seyssins, France
Studio Odile Decq, Saint-Ange Residency, Seyssins, France. Photo © Roland Halbe

This is why, when discovering the site, and despite all the difficulties, creating a view overlooking the entire valley became the dominant idea. A belvedere became the evident solution: to see as much of the valley as possible by going above the trees, but without ever having a reverse view in order to protect the intimacy of the Tour Saint-Ange and its park.

The studio was therefore thought of as a kind of tower on three different levels that twist to reach the view beyond the valley. This is monolithic architecture, a silent piece of art, made entirely from wood, with a natural finish on the inside and a black asphalt finish on the outside. During the daytime, multiple openings on the facade allow the light to pour into the living rooms, the studio and the two levels above – from three different directions (except from the north side facing the Tour Saint-Ange). At night, the wood blinds treated with the exact same finish as the facade hide the windows and allow the monolith to become all black and quiet once again.

Saint-Ange Residency, Seyssins, France
Program: artist residency, studio and apartments
Architects: Studio Odile Decq
Structure: Batiserf
Fluids: Axess
General contractor: Sema
Urbanist: Jocelyne Icart
Structural work: Soraetec
Structure: Bois Conseil
Carpentry: Mr Joly Bois
Electricity: Edmi
Plumbing: Edmi
Client: Colette Tornier
Area: 185 sqm
Completion: 2015

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