Eric Arsenault Architecture

01 Nevers maison restructuration

Renovation of a house

  • Localisation : Nevers (58)
  • Program : house : merging of three separate levels, requalification of all spaces / agency: reception room, meeting room, drafting office, documentation space, architect office
  • Project type : restructuring
  • Surface : 150 m2
  • Cost : 135 000 € excl. VAT
  • Client : private
  • Work duration : 12 months
  • Delivered: 2003
  • Photos : Hervé Abbadie

When I left the School of Architecture of Marseille, I came to Nevers by chance, I met Maryline (my wife) and bought a 1930’s house without facing neighbours, overlooking the railway wasteland and the city beyond.

I fell in love with this house : a ground floor where to install a (small) agency, a courtyard for children and upstairs, the possibility to install our home.

Twelve years later, the space had become too small, comprehensive restructuring was then proposed to allocate the entire house to the family and to create a fully-fledged agency, adjacent to the house.

Given the need to live on site during the construction, a "drawer" operation was implemented:

1: Construction of the agency for a year next to the house,

2: shifting of the lower house to the top of the agency to carry out the work in the house for another year,

3: redeployment in the finished house.

The reorganization

The house has been redone from top to bottom. The first concern was to link the different levels from the inside with the creation of stairwells and stairs : basement / ground floor and ground floor / first floor.

Levels have been distributed by type of activities : the ground floor accommodates the common activities (kitchen / living room), the first floor welcomes the activities of parents and the attic the children’s.

On the ground floor a large bay window opens onto the brand new garden, and a wide wooden deck. The former entrance to the house, on the first floor, has been glazed with a view on a birch tree.

The levels are completely open except for the bedrooms. Vertical perspectives are thus established.

Outside, the agency’s aquarium represents the garden’s pond. An ancient well 4m deep has been found under a stone and renovated. The stone wall of the property has been heightened with bricks (to regain the level of the roofline of an ancient shed and preserve privacy). Vertical slits perforate the raised part.


With white walls, each level receives a privileged floor covering : brown heating floor tiles on the ground floor, oakwood flooring on the first floor and floating yellow parquet in the attic.

A handrail in brushed stainless steel connects the levels vertically.

Wood blinds with wide blades are used to adjust the light and view. On the south west façade, automated roller shutters provide thermal and visual insulation.

The parents’ bathroom is composed of coloured (Valchromat) and vitrified MDF panels

See article "Architect agency"