Competition 1st prize

Begins, a village of winegrowers located on the hillside of the riviera between Lausanne and Geneva, has a high street where time has stood still: the Grand' Rue. The municipality wishes to requalify it, create a new square and build a housing project at the location where the street makes a turn. The new village square, not too designed or too urban, is conceived as a fluid opening, a breathing space in the heart of the Grand' Rue. This space is defined by a negative angle built to the north-west, the proposed building, and diagonally to it, by a large bouquet of trees. The latter is positioned as a pivot and shapes the identity of the square by offering a green presence, slightly offset from the perspective of the western part of the street. This central opening allows to keep a distance from the oldest house in the village, giving it visibility and enhancement. Similarly, the street establishes links with the gardens uphill and downhill, where a pedestrian walkway is proposed. The edges of the streets receive different treatments at the entrance thresholds. Surfaces of large limestone slabs punctuate the street and highlight certain commercial or private entrances. This principle allows the inhabitants to appropriate the streetscape with flowerpots, a small terrace or a parking space. The introduction of this small scale fosters intimacy and street life at the same time.

The new building blends into the fabric and defines the void. With its balconies and articulated bow-windows, it takes up architectural figures present in the region. On the ground floor there is a small cinema with a bar in the lower volume and a large space with a kitchen for associations in the taller volume. The nine apartments on the upper floors are designed as fluid spaces, which occupy the building, the living spaces are organized on the corners and offer interior-exterior-interior views. This spatial quality confers the character of a villa to the apartments. The luminous glass staircase is designed as an element of identity, which changes slightly on each floor to end with a common balcony, in order to encourage exchange between neighbours. This architectural element is oriented towards a new orchard – a common space for collective use.

Requalification of a high street, creation of a square and an orchard, housing, collective spaces
Begnins, VD
Commune de Begnins
Mandat d'étude parallèle en procédure sélective
Landscape architecture
DGJ Landscape