Thermes de Jonzac: La Maison des vignes
17500 Jonzac, Charente Maritime, France
These 40 dwellings form the first phase of a phased development of a 13-hectare site in Charente Maritime, located above abandoned quarries which currently house the troglodyte (cave-dwelling) spa of Jonzac. The general program for this plan includes the construction of several buildings dedicated to the spa (140 furnished studios and 10 hotel rooms), 400 parking spaces and an elevator tower which links the parking area to the new entrance of the spa located 25 meters below.
The project, named « maisons des vignes » (vineyard houses), is organized around a square plan house which includes a welcome-boutique area at the intermediate level, a tea-room at the upper level, and mecanical rooms and a fountain located on the lower level. The central building is linked to four dwelling structures via a wood pergola: 2 main structures with 8 studios each in the upper part of the site, 2 structures containing 12 studios each located 3 meters below. The 40 studios all have at least a double orientation. The formal vocabulary of the architecture is inspired by the local traditional architecture of Saintonge (long and low houses). The use of Douglas fir in the treatment of the facades and exterior circulation areas helps create a harmonious relationship with the immediate woods surrounding the buildings, and has an exotic appeal for the users who spend an average of three weeks of spa treatment in this area far from their usual surroundings. The basins, which are located along the longitudinal axis, help to create a space dedicated to rest and serenity.