The architects describe their three apartment buildings in Saintes, one and a half hours north of Bordeaux, as “white clouds”. And indeed the clear forms of the buildings do seem to fray at the edges, in much the same way as changing cloud formations. Clad in white corrugated metal, the buildings appear light and constantly in motion – as if composed of changeable modular cubes.

It seems as if the irregular recesses in floor plan and silhouette are compensated for elsewhere by projecting, translucent loggias. In contrast to this concept the task set by the competition was anything but poetic: 30 social housing dwelling units on the fringe of a harsh working class district made up of monotonous 1970s blocks.