530 dwellings across three blocks on a housing estate
Read the Housing Estate typology here
Lacaton & Vassal has become famous for the practice’s sensitive approach to estate refurbishment. Rather than continuing with the wasteful demolition of postwar grands ensembles, its interventions have proven that even towers regarded as unliveable and hopelessly decrepit can be given a new life – and crucially, this prevents the displacement of residents.
The strategy of estate ‘transformation’, first demonstrated at Tour Bois le Prêtre in Paris in 2011, comprises internal reconfiguration and deep re-cladding, allowing the lateral extension of units into winter gardens (left). This improves insulation and provides extra space for residents, as well as giving the building a facelift. The practice is currently applying this on a much grander scale to 530 dwellings across three blocks on a housing estate in Bordeaux which is has designed in association with architects Fréderic Druot and Christophe Hutin.