The Cité is the Dock a project by Cattani Architects located in Le Havre, France. A four-story building that houses 100 apartments made of old shipping containers. All rooms with bathrooms, kitchen, free wifi and has been carefully designed to have a great heat and sound insulation. Much of the success of the design is the way the containers were distributed creating empty spaces and common areas between the flats. The location near the water creates a very modern and industrial feeling.
If you lived in a students’ dorm, you know the hassle that comes with the lack of privacy, crowdedness, noise, sometimes the lack of cooking space and so on. Here is a project that manages to overcome some of these draw backs. Cité A Docks is a creative student housing project, located in Le Havre, France from Cattani Architects. The amazing thing about it is that 100 new student dorm rooms were created by transforming old shipping containers into a four-story building. Each apartment has 24 square meters and includes a bathroom and a kitchen, which is just about everything a student could need. We have to say we were a bit skeptical at fist when seeing the exterior of this building, as it looks too “metallic” and industrial for our tastes while the overall gray certainly doesn’t go with the exuberance and energy of students.
From the architects: “The metal structure allows a better identification of the different rooms, and enhances them through the external extensions that become terraces and balconies. The sequences of the transverse corridors giving access to the apartments on the façade creates a succession of full and empty spaces that gives the structure a more visual transparency.”
The new town is the result of the transformation of old containers in modular housing units equipped with every comfort. Mounted on a metal grid, the containers have given shape to a four-story building that houses 100 apartments of 24 square meters each.
The architect Cattani said the thoughts that accompanied her work. “How do I prevent students, prospective tenants, they feel put in the box? Compelling needs have arisen. Necessary to conceive of a lightweight, transparent, and certainly not solid. Hence the idea of independent living, to avoid the stacking effect.”
The solution was found in a metal frame that acts as a structural support to the old container, while allowing to stagger the units, and create new space for walkways, patios and balconies. “The metal structure – Cattani says – it allows a better identification of the different rooms, and enhances them through the external extensions that become terraces and balconies. The sequences of the transverse corridors giving access to the apartments on the façade create a succession of full and empty spaces that gives the structure a more visual transparency.”
The building designed by the metal structure is spread over four floors, which are distributed on the 100 studios. The first level was raised from the ground. In this way, the units here guests can enjoy the same privacy afforded to units on the upper floors. All the apartments overlook a garden inside and are equipped on both ends of the glass walls that allow natural lighting of spaces.
To ensure maximum heat and sound insulation, the walls of the container adjacent to the outside and those that divide the different units have been coated with fire walls in reinforced concrete 40cm wide, and come within layers of rubber to dampen vibrations.
The external facade is designed by the combination of the old “boxes” that has kept the undulating, repainted in metallic gray. Inside, the designers chose white walls and wooden furniture. Each studio has a bathroom, kitchen and free Wifi.