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Modular Sheltered Housing and Mixed-use Building

Champvent, France

The Théâtre de Champvent-Le Nid has been an exemplary rural cultural hub for 40 years, bringing internationally-known artists to a quiet hamlet in southern Burgundy. Supported by a consortium of local stakeholders, the future of the centre is projected to be amplified (and assured) by the development of new facilities combining shared functional spaces (for dining, meeting and rehearsing) with a 33-unit residential building containing a mixture of sheltered and single-family dwellings which can be combined and separated according to evolving need.


Drawing upon our lengthy investigations into modular room construction, we proposed this development as a mixture of in-situ and prefabricated wood construction, allowing remarkable quaity control and an ultra-low disturbance build process, preserving the calm of the local village.


Settled on a slope of 6 metres down from a district road, the building is largely invisible to the surrouding houses, facing a wide meadow which belongs to the theatre. Universal wheelchair access is assured by a simple terraced plan with lift access ; units can be combined vertically and horizontally, allowing younger families to live with their grandparents in a situation where medical help is readily available and meal services are provided.


A collective building -an experimental dome structure made of radiating tree forks, culled without the need to cut the whole tree- allows for mutually-benefical facilities for the residences and the theatre. It fosters a vision of elderly housing as gently integrated into life, rather than sequestered and sealed-off. Parties, rehearsals, meetings, banquets and light concerts can be held in this structure, with adjacent facilities for occasional use by hairdressers, chiropractors and other medical services. The building can also house a weekly producers’ market.

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