François Gena & Shirley Stoudemire

François Gena & Shirley Stoudemire

Living in density. ULiège (Belgium)

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The dense urban fabric of the city center of Liège contains numerous not built gaps, residues of unsuitable cadastral survey or of an urbanization that was little worried about the street continuity.
The project of housing intends to exploit the potential of these indefinite places by proposing a parasitic construction able to fit into the smallest gaps of the urban fabrics and to offer a quality living space, in spite of the exiguity of their configuration.
The plot of land to be used, with a street side facade of 2.6m, is adjacent to a listed school. A portico, listed as well, is built there and confers to the plot of land the role of easement to the schoolyard and the main entrance of the school. The major challenge of the project is to keep the existing easement and to link the new volume with the listed building and the portico.
The contact with the listed elements is materialized by a glazed link which enhances the portico and the impressive cornice of the school. The suspended volume extends the size of the adjoining building. In view of the exiguity of the land, the space saving and the maximization of the use of square meters are the main challenges in the spatial composition.
The project gets organized in half-levels to minimize the spaces used for the horizontal flow. The first two levels are intended for day spaces, the three last ones are dedicated to spaces for the night. Inside, the wood of the massive structure is maintained visible. The threshold from day spaces to night spaces is materialized by a contrast in the color and the morphology of the staircase.

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