Claude Parent

Maison Toueg, Gif-sur-Yvette, 1969-1970

“Toueg is interesting, because it is exploring another stated aim of the oblique space: the cantilevered mass, the entire weight of the volume thrust forward.” With this project for a single family house, Claude Parent revisited the expressive quality of a suspended mass. The architect had not utilized this potential aspect of the Oblique Function since his Charleville Cultural Center (1966, unbuilt), designed while with the Architecture Principe group. Here, the architect sought to project the occupants into the panoramic landscape and hence create new perspectives. The project is a modest one in terms of its size and cost, as it involves building a house-cum-studio for a childless couple. The architect remembers being impressed by their passion for sparrows when he was designing the project. A “bird’s nest,” it is structurally quite different from the one built for André Bloc in Cap d'Antibes (1959-1962), but it is just as open to the landscape. Located 30 km southeast of Paris on a “lovely sloping lot,” the dwelling extends over two levels. From the street, the façade is quite massive and the entry is located to one side of the house. This level contains the kitchen and the living room. The lower, partially sunken level houses the bathroom and the bedroom/studio. The common areas (bedroom/studio and living room) are the only sections of the house with inclined floors. Parent did a study for the layout. The entire structure was to be built in rough concrete. Though the building permit was issued, a disagreement between the clients and the architect ended the project.

Audrey Jeanroy

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