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Twenty Houses “rooms with a view” - Gaston Tolila

Twenty Houses “rooms with a view”
Tolila+Gilliland Atelier d ’Architecture - France





About Gaston Tolia

Gaston Tolila graduated from the INSA Lyon, Department of Civil Engineering and Urbanism in 1997 as a Civil Engineer, and in 2000, he became a DPLG Architect (state diploma) in Paris, France.

Gaston Tolila and Nicholas Gilliland began working together in 2003 through a humanitarian architecture competition for which they were laureates. This nomadic dispensary project was then exhibited at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 2005. Since, they have continued to collaborate on architecture, urbanism and design projects, using their knowledge of public and private work acquired in renowned international architecture offices.
In 2011, they created the Tolila+Gilliland Atelier d’Architecture.

In 2012, their work received the “Prix d’Architecture du Moniteur 2012 pour la première oeuvre”. (French National prize for the first built work). Today, the atelier develops a broad range of architecture programs (housing, public works, offices...) with a particular attention to integration of each project into its own historic, geographic and environmental context.


- 2003-06 Nomadic dispensary, South Africa
- 2005 Exhibition D-Day in Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
- 2006-08 Medical Training Center, Ipuli, Tanzania
- 2007 National Design Triennal, Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York USA
- 2010-12 Mosquito Coast Factory, artist studio, Campbon, France
- 2011 Restaurant Olivades, Paris, France
- 2011 Twenty houses, Rooms with a view, Faymoreau, France
- 2012 Helsinki National Library competition, Finland
- 2012 Office building renovation on Parc Monceau, Paris, France
- 2013 350 apartments and a cinema in Batignolles, Paris, France
- 2013 Office building renovation Avenue de la Grande Armée, Paris, France
- 2013 Five Aesop cosmetics shops, Paris, Geneva and London
- 2014 Offices and activities building, in Massy, France
- 2014 110 apartments in Massy, France
- 2014 Retail building, Design district, Miami USA

Twenty Houses “rooms with a view”

SITE: Faymoreau, France
DATE: 2012
ARCHITECT: Gaston Tolila and Nicholas Gilliland, Tolila+Gilliland
CLIENT: CAUE de la Vendée
MISSION: winner of the Public Award of the competition
PROGRAM:  20 houses, car park, natural pool, shared and private gardens
SURFACE: 6.000 m² 

The mining village of Faymoreau needs to renew and revitalize itself, to create a new connected neighborhood that is alive and above-all pleasant to live in. We propose a project of 20 houses inscribed in the topography of the village, in harmony with the landscape. The project is conceived as a fourth terrace of the existing miner’s housing, a balcony over the landscape beyond. It will enrich and expand the network of public spaces, via connections and pathways, linking old and new residents and providing the framework for a diverse public life (market, events, shops ...).

The site is bordered by a new road directly linked to the 20 housing units. The houses are semi-detached and arranged on narrow plots, reflecting the traditional shotgun plan typical to the village. They are organized on three levels: on the ground floor a living room and bedroom with shower; upstairs, two bedrooms with bath; in the basement, a cellar / garden shed. An offset pattern of terraces are proposed between the houses to maintain intimacy while respecting the linear nature of the mining habitat. All accommodations feature a triple orientation: ground floor rooms are oriented west and south, upstairs the bedrooms are oriented East and West, on one side toward the collective vegetable gardens, and to the other side toward the terraces, private gardens and wooded landscape beyond.


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