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Marniere by Open Architectes

Marniere by Open Architectes

Architect: Open Architectes
Owner: Private
Surface Area: 415M2
Location: Ittre
Status: Delivered in December 2018
Photos: U. PEKLI

General Contractor: Di Filippo Sprl
Safety Coordinator (CSS): In-Plano
Stability Engineer: Matriche
PEB: Homeco
HVAC: Gosseye
Ironwork: Atelier Ceci
3D: Perspectif


This single-family dwelling project is located on 38 acres of land forming part of a subdivision created in the late 1960s on the heights of Ittre.

One of the main challenges of the project was to propose a frank contemporary architecture taking advantage of the site, its significant natural relief and the beautiful orientation located on the street side, while respecting the prescriptions of the subdivision permit.

The house is set back from the street, parallel to it. This withdrawal, about forty meters, allows to take advantage of the south-west orientation of the main facade and to preserve the maximum trees and vegetation in the receding area. This implantation also makes possible to establish a coherent link with the neighbouring villas and to promote the integration of the building in its environment.

The Client wanted a rational home in keeping with his time in terms of architecture, liveability and energy consumption. This desire has resulted in the establishment of simple and streamlined volumes, materials and systems that respect the environment.

The subdivision permit required a maximum height under cornice of 4.5 meters, allowing either a single-storey building or a two-storey building with a ground floor with a limited ceiling height and a floor partially engaged in the building roof.

To meet this constraint, the proposed solution was to install rooms on the ground floor, buried about 80cm, releasing a beautiful volume for the stay on the first floor, under a large continuous roof meeting the urban regulations.

The project therefore consists of a main volume sloping on two levels and a secondary volume perpendicular to a single level on the ground floor. The embedding of the volume in the natural terrain, coupled with a judiciously studied layout of the building, makes it possible to reduce the height between the slope and the natural level of the ground below the authorized 4.50 meters.


On the ground floor the main volume houses the children’s rooms, a guest bedroom and an office. A carport is arranged on the left side of the house, under the volume of the 1st floor.

The secondary volume, implanted perpendicular to the main volume, integrates the entrance, the garage, the technical rooms and laundry.

On the first floor is the living room, the kitchen, a room of fitness and the parental suite. The volume is uncluttered, freed from all structural and technical constraints. Covered by the large flat roof with two sides, the floor opens on both sides on two terraces on the roof of the secondary volume of the ground floor. This transverse breakthrough offers a unique point of view on the vegetation of the site and allows to recreate a visual axis on the depth of the ground, offering a panorama towards the valley on the south-west side and a view on the north-east slope.

The overflowing roof provides the sunscreen needed in summer while allowing the sun to penetrate in winter. A corridor runs along the front façade over its entire length, reinforcing the impression of continuity inside / outside and allowing easy maintenance of glazing.


The strength and simplicity of the architectural part naturally leads to the use of simple materials, slate roofing, dark grey aluminium joinery, and anthracite grey fiber-cement facade panels.

A special importance was attached to the ecological footprint of the selected materials (manufacturing techniques, provenance, maintenance techniques, recycling, etc.). The selected materials and colours have been studied in order to integrate the dwelling discreetly in the environment and to harmonize it harmoniously with the landscape context.


A helicoidal staircase allows to make an original and fast transition between the entry on the ground floor and the deliberately perched living room. Sculptural appearance with nevertheless a small footprint to avoid segmenting the living area upstairs. The volume of the floor is completely free from any technical constraints, which allows the full expression of the unitary roof. This roof, major element of the atmosphere of the floor, is dressed in a wooden lathing to reinforce the impression of continuity on the one hand, and to ensure acoustic comfort given the reverberant effect of large glass surfaces.

In the middle of the volume, the kitchen is in the form of a dark monolith that ensures the transition between the living area and the area of the fitness room and the master suite.

The continuity between the inside and the outside is ensured by a reflection on the materials, the wood in the longitudinal direction, in opposition with the mineral coating of the terraces covering the transversal volume.

On the ground floor the floor, more solicited, is entirely mineral.

The finish of the interior walls consists of clay plaster stained in the mass. This material makes it possible to regulate the internal hygrometry and to do without finishing paints for most of the walls.