Projects / Housing

Projects / Housing

Villa Rohan


Transformation of an office building
into 22 apartments

AB Groupe
Atelier Cambium
Design team
ID Bâtiment (structural engineering), C3 (engineering for the façades and frames), ITH (demolition engineering and plumbing), M. Xixons (site management), Qualiconsult (health and safety coordination, technical inspection services)
Image credits
Ivan Mathie
Bordeaux (33), France
Transformation of an office building into 22 apartments
Surface area
2,968m2 (of which 2,274m2 is for housing)
Construction costs
3.85M€ pre-tax
2014 - 2018
Eiffel 2020 Trophy, Habitation Category, Facades 2 build 2020 Awards, Habitation Category, Nominated for the 2021 International Prize for the Transformation of Offices into Housing.

Situated on the edge of the Mériadeck neighbourhood, this former office building from the 1980s benefits from an exceptional location; however, it is also set back too far from the street, the Cours d’Albret. The goal is to reassert its frank, robust relationship to the city and give its business-minded aspect a more domestic image. The building has been completely denuded of its concrete panels and the structure has been updated. 42 tonnes of metal framework redefine its volume. This frame exhibits two types of metal cladding: one is smooth and light grey in colour, alluding to the structure’s framework; the other is pleated and dark gray, lending a sense of dynamism to the building’s envelope. The four sides of the building remain free and unattached to other neighbouring structures, a rarity for Bordeaux. This gives each apartment a dual orientation and amply sized exterior spaces. The plinth is clad with Blue Savoy marble. The second to fifth floors are separated from this mineral base by an abundantly windowed first floor, and the penthouse flat that has been rendered flush with the structure helps assert the building’s new urban identity.


On the original octagonal base, the newly added floors are rectangularly shaped. The articulation between these two elements comes from the four pilasters of the  superstructure.

The Plan

The original building’s considerable depth was poorly suited to housing units. The bathrooms were placed in the centre to group the ducts together and maximise the exposure of the living areas to the exterior.

A virtuous and repeatable metamorphosis of an ordinary 1980s office building into housing. 


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