Aparthotels in the Oise Valley

The Architects

Cyrille Hanappe and Olivier Leclercq Martin created AIR (Architectures Ingénieries Recherches – Architecture, Engineering, Research) in 2000. Having graduated from the Paris-Belleville School of Architecture and the Central School of Nantes, and Saint Luc of Wallonie’s Higher Institute of Architecture (Belgium), they wished to integrate multiple competencies into a single structure. Maxime Mécuyer and Emilie Bongard also collaborated in this venture.

Profiting from training in bioclimatic architecture and ecology, both architects place an environmental approach at the heart of their projects. Beyond the technical aspects of each building, they endeavour to create an added value in the art of living, the usability and the poetry of the space. Thus the idea of loft apartments, circulating natural light through all of the rooms, was integrated in the concept of Olivarius Cergy Pontoise – uniting the natural with the man-made, foliage and concrete, interior “grass” carpeting and the allusion to curtains on the façade creating a wonderfully aesthetic experience.

Olivier Leclercq Martin & Cyrille Hanappe, associated DPLG architects.
AIR Architecture – air@air-architecture.com

Design

The open spaces surrounding the building allow the colours and materials of the outer walls to come to life: bare concrete contrasts with warm and colourful detailing and a central panel made of Zebrawood. During the day, natural sunlight penetrates via the windows and roof, illuminating the interior, adding to the fluidity of the spaces within.

The apartments are linked by open walkways overlooking a large atrium – a truly convivial area bordered by olive trees.

The idea of this façade is to embody the notion of comfort within an Apart’hotel. Upon first experience of the building, clients will immediately be surprised by the adaptability of the materials used.

It gives the look of a visual continuity between the “curtain” façade and the “real” curtains concealing the windows of the rooms. Depending on the activity within the rooms, open and closed curtains will create a variation and bring life to the façade.

A tailor-made concrete matrix was used for the fabrication of this curtain-like wall, the mould of which was inspired by the design of the blackout curtains chosen for the building, in order to produce the same drape effect. The model was made of plaster as per our instructions by a specialized sculptor (known notably for his production of sets for the Aix-en-Province music festival). A polyester resin was cast on this sculpture in order to create moulds, which were then transferred to the RECKLI factory in Germany for the fabrication of polyurethane casing matrices. This work was carried out in parallel with the production of pattern designs by MAES in Belgium.

A stainless steel thermal breaker and 8cm-thick insulating fibreglass were placed at the top of the panels, with were then cast into the floor and fused together.

The 1600 m² of outer walls were completed within 8 weeks.

All of the built-in furniture was created by AIR. The idea of the “serving unit” integrating the features of the apartment (kitchen, bathroom, beds and beside tables, wardrobe, TV cabinet, dressers, etc.) allows for a better use of the space. A focus was made on usability: storage under beds for suitcases, wardrobes, a chest of drawers at the foot of the bed. A moving storage unit, dubbed “blog unit”, was meticulously created for repeated stays. Inspired by the mythical Vuitton travelling trunk, this unit allows for the storage of all kinds of personal belongings and can be sealed and put into storage. Upon the return of the client, the unit will be waiting in the apartment, ready to be unsealed, and the objects within will be found just as they were left on the previous visit.

The artist

Nicknamed “The Poppy Painter”, often copied but never equalled, Jean-Philippe Ghilione is an artist with boundless energy. Fond of horses, landscapes and the sea, photography, staging and all kinds of events, he has found success in many domains.

A romantic wanderer at heart, constantly looking for new challenges, he only really rests within his workshop at Biot, on the Côte d’Azur, where his canvasses and colours await him.

For Olivarius Apart’hotels Cergy, he has produced an outstanding fresco, a unique work of art, which adds to the special charm and character of the residence.

Visit Jean-Philippe Ghiglione's website