Temperatures in Provence, in the south of France, can quickly climb to above 40 degrees Celsius in the summer. Since 2018, the small town of Istres, near Marseilles, has been home to the gated residential development ‘Le Clos d‘Enghun’ with its 57 apartment buildings and a dozen small villas. Each home has its own terrace or private garden, and they have been designed to withstand the hottest summer temperatures. ‘Effective measures are needed to create a real sense of wellbeing in the hot Provençal summers’, says architect Gérard Mincone.
With that in mind, alongside the self-insulating clay Porotherm Climamur block, the Marseilles-based architectural firm, Midi Architecture, also created shade by constructing terraces and using traditional bright colours for façades. ‘We use the thermal inertia of the Climamur blocks to keep the rooms cool long into the evening’, explains architect Mincone. The natural building material also maintains a healthy indoor climate.