Pessac V_01+n

Year: Fall 2023
Course: Advanced Topics Studio
Instructor: Neil Denari
Team: NA

Pessac V_01+n is a project for an addition of a new dwelling as an extension to one of the existing “Gratte-Ciel” type duplexes in the Cité Frugès development by Le Corbusier in Pessac, France. The proposal is mediated by positions on Le Corbusier’s Five Points with pilotis extending the project’s verticality and creating a shaded and multispatial in-between roofscape. The panelized and perforated facade and large window systems produce a graphic character legible from the street. The figural massing of the addition is derived from desired conditions of the in-between roofscape and solar, privacy, and visual motivations for the different programmatic needs.

The Gratte-Ciel were one of several typologies that were developed by Le Corbusier for Henri Baronet-Frugès as workforce housing on the periphery of Pessac. The project, dubbed Cité Frugès de Pessac, was a small suburb in a previously unbuilt piece of land. An initial failure, the development was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 and has begun over recent years to be transformed into a renovated reflection of the initial design. However, this was not before many buildings on the site were heavily modified with pitched roofs, additional living and storage spaces, and greenhouses and several of the buildings are now multicolored - an index of the nature of the duplex model of ownership. Here the new proposal explores elements of the modernist principles that have generated renewed interest and is positioned as such as a vertical extension that maintains the precious space for living, working, and leisure that occurs between the buildings at the ground level.