House 55, Coonoor, India

Ahaladini Sridharan Architects

Architect Agency
Ahaladini Sridharan Architects

Metal Builder
Murugan Arul Metals

Product solutions used
TOPAZE sliders and windows


It has been decided to award a special mention to this project for its audacity regarding the adaptation to a very steep landscape. The different corpses of the building, bridged together, conversing with the hillside take account the complexity of the site with a modern vocabulary architecture.”


Jury coments

The Lot valley has perpetuated, since the 13th century, constructive principles based on the values of the territory and common sense: the play of terraces linked to topography and simple, compact architecture, using local and raw materials.

This approach naturally inspired the design of the Hall of residence Impernal in Luzech, which includes a secondary school with 450 students that can be extended to 600, a school group with 240 students, a shared restaurant and three staff quarters. The land has a slope of 122 to 99 m in its West/East orientation.

“Sculpted it into three terraces, structured by a large stone and wooden walls,” the work of adapting the steep gradient, combined with GEODE curtain walls and SOLEAL doors and windows, allows views of the large landscape environment at each level.

Thin, straight and elegant, the aluminum profiles of GEODE and SOLEAL blend into the building envelope. The glazing is maximized for generous natural lighting, bringing light to the various functions of the Hall of residence:

- The two levels are punctuated by patios for total transparency. These patios, which are natural, bright and intermingling to the building, are offering a look at the inner operations and at the permanent link with the environment.

- The classrooms are all facing North and South. SOLEAL frames designed from floor to ceiling are integrating edge-to-edge glazing. On the south side, the sun protection is reinforced by passive glazing.

- The dining rooms are oriented to the south-east accessible from the square, allowing to have lunch while enjoying the views of Luzech. A real break before resuming afternoon classes.

The architects’ choice was based on environmentally friendly materials, working with local companies with recognized expertise. For example, the Realco metal builder manufactured all the TECHNAL aluminium joineries. Wood was used for the frames and clothing on the first level, limestone for the gabion and cladding supports on the ground floor and concrete to complete the work. Wood, limestone and concrete are combined with sandblasted grey aluminium and glass from TECHNAL joineries. Few materials were used to create a sober, simple project and an ‘’ethnic’’ link with the place. The green roofs complete the insertion into the site and improve thermal comfort.