ArcelorMittal’s metallic coated steel envelops private homes in Chantepie

In the designated development area Rives du Blosne in the town of Chantepie, France, several districts with private homes are being developed. Among them is a set of 26 private homes made of steel. ArcelorMittal's sparkling metallic coated steel was used for the cladding and roofing of three of these houses.

Detailed information

Although at the time of completion, this area was not yet connected to the public infrastructure and most of the local amenities were still to be developed, the six new neighbourhoods contain interesting architectural developments which make them very promising as a residential area.

Among them, a set of 26 private houses designed by the architect Eric Lenoir particularly stand out:

  • 18 of them are enveloped in black coated, trapezoidal steel sheets and offer 94 m2
  • 3 of them are clad in metallic coated steel and offer 117m2 and
  • 5 houses are clad with wood (red cedar) and offer 135 m2 of living space

Built on stilts, the Chantepie houses consist of three basic cubic volumes of 4.8 m, 3.6 m, and 2.4 m, and intermediate modules (4.2 m and 3 m) according to their sizes and a constructive frame of 0.6 m.
Technologies normally used for industrial buildings were applied for these residences: cladding with composite steel panels made of metallic coated and black steel, plaster or wood for interior walls and partitions, roofing made of metallic and black coated steel sheets, and aluminium joinery in the exteriors.

Metallic coated steel: Sparkling aesthetics & corrosion resistance

Primarily used for its aesthetic features and its excellent corrosion resistance, ArcelorMittal's metallic coated steel was chosen as the cladding for three of the houses, but also in order to create a contrast to the wood-clad and the black-coated steel-clad houses. It catches the light and reflects it thanks to its metallic spangle – and sets a sparkling visual highlight. Furthermore, metallic coated steel is a competitive material, durable in its aesthetics and excellent for processing.

Meccano flexible: Combining contemporary art with constructive rationalism

Eric Lenoir advocates design and contemporary art in architecture and regularly organises exhibitions of different design artists: The aim is to combine contemporary art with urban codes in order to create 'ideal' facilities.

In the course of the project of these houses in Chantepie, called 'Meccano Flexible', the architect developed the 'Archilenoir' concept. He describes it as a dimensional approach with a basic steel structure (column – beam) and an independent, modular facade which allows different possibilities, combinations, and materials, always with a common denominator.

The constructive rationalism of the houses goes back to the architect’s earlier work and personal experience - he designs only what is actually possible to build.

This project arose from a mental image and the expert knowledge of interior spaces - of what is possible in three dimensions - and the fact that 'standardisation' does not mean that buildings have to be identical.

It consists in a set of innovative construction methods for experimental optimised housing with four main objectives: cost, quality, reliability, and time. It is mainly designed for social housing programmes.

This modular system, based on 100% steel construction made of hot rolled profiles, is based on a cube with variable dimensions.

Project information

  • Chantepie, Rennes
  • France
  • Architect:
    Eric Lenoir
  • 2008-2009
  • Client:
    Rennes Métropole & Mairie de Chantepie
  • Contractor:
  • Photographer:
    Eric Lenoir