Segments in this Video

1986 French Housing Project (02:46)


Nemausus I is a state-financed housing project in Nimes, built by Jean Nouvel. It was one of 16 projects launched by the mayor of Nimes to modernize the town.

Nemausus I (02:26)

The two long buildings face across a tree-lined forecourt with open car parks on pillars beneath the buildings. The slanting walls and protruding walkways make them appear like two large ships.

Design Principles (02:47)

Jean Nouvel talks about his return to principles of space, light and air with Nemausus I. Financial restraints of the 1950s sacrificed apartment space for quantity. Nemausus I added space.

Outside Access Points (03:26)

The two long rectangular buildings are divided by 5 meter load bearing walls. An open elevator well and outside staircases allows access to the 3 exterior walkways.

Apartment Space and Verandas (03:15)

The apartments stretch across the building and have verandas on the side opposite the walkways. The metallic screen roof harmonizes with and protects the verandas.

Flexibility Behind a Uniform Facade (03:57)

Jean Nouvel notes the typical 1980s apartment. His central block structure allows for light and flexible interior arrangement. Upper level folding doors to the veranda form the facade.

Giant Meccano Set (02:24)

The concrete support walls allowed Nouvel to add prefabricated industrial elements to the facades. Nouvel cites the interplay of light on aluminum siding. The concrete walls are unpainted.

Tenant Versus Architect (03:38)

Despite the no-decorating rule for the raw concrete walls, the tenants have redesigned their habitat, and must pay more rent for the larger space.

Credits: Nemausus I: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (00:47)

Credits: Nemausus I: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

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Nemausus I: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

Part of the Series : Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



Jean Nouvel's 1986 block of public housing apartments in Nîmes recalls an ocean liner - and turns social housing clichés on their heads. Nouvel used prefabricated industrial materials and concrete to keep costs down and allow him to build multilevel, spacious apartments, open to light and air. Despite the architect's requirement that the buildings remain examples of 1980s non-decorated, industrial architecture, the tenants have creatively individualized their spaces.

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL65344

ISBN: 978-1-60057-655-3

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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