Retirement complex in the triangle of three countries

In the French community of Huningue – exactly in the border triangle between Germany, France and Switzerland – an extraordinary building has taken its form: a very specially designed senior citizens’ residence. Colored concrete as an architectural design element plays an important role here.

Colored Concrete Showcase©Eugeni Pons

Red colored exposed concrete creates poetic spaces 

The complex comprises a total of 25 residential units of approx. 50 square metres each. The collective living spaces are generously proportioned and their location allows plenty of natural light – this open atmosphere is ideal for supporting relationships and social interactions between the residents. Red concrete, terracotta and wood create a cosy atmosphere. Outside, the building is clad on all sides with handcrafted bricks.

For the interior, architects Dominique Coulon & Associés from Strasbourg have chosen red fair-faced concrete colored with Bayferrox iron oxide pipgments from Lanxess. Imperfections are part of the very lively construction: the stone matches the deliberate architectural irregularities, which lend the location its very own attractive character. Exposed concrete is a noble material. The deep red, almost earthy color gives the room a unique poetic dimension. The use of iron oxide pigments for coloring concrete requires profound technical knowledge and application skills. Because only with comprehensive know-how about the interaction of concrete technology and the selected color pigment the desired color shade be achieved in the cured state.

Colored Concrete Showcase©Eugeni Pons

LANXESS provided concrete assistance in the realization of the senior citizens’ residential complex in Huningue. Based on conceptual suggestions and ideas from the architects, the experts from LANXESS designed concrete color samples. With these colors the desired result could be achieved on the construction site. The exemplary cooperation has resulted in a building with its very own unique, deep (red) charisma, that leaves a great visual impact on visitors and residents alike.

 

Colored Concrete Showcase©Eugeni Pons

The red color creates a timeless place 

The architects’ aim in designing the project was to give the interiors openness and generosity. In the middle of the building there is a striking staircase leading upwards. Its unmistakable presence in the large central room invites seniors to be aware of their mobility – and to use it. From the upper floor, the terrace brings light from the south into the centre of the building. The white volume in the interior appears lifted off, it structures the empty space and lends lightness to the entire construction. The red exposed concrete in combination with terracotta and light wood creates an inviting atmosphere.

On the outside, the building is covered with clinker bricks on all sides. The architects have chosen a non-standard brick that is irregular and partly non-even. The walls thus designed capture the changing light of the day; their structure authentically connect the building with the rustic harbor location and thus with the original history of the Rhine. The transparency of the river, the natural light at the heart of the building, the red-colored walls: a grandiose interplay that gives the building its strong identity. Here in Huningue, a cosy, timeless place has been created that offers high comfort, inspiration and connectedness to its inhabitants.

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