Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Z5 in Aix-en-Provence, France by Christophe Gulizzi Architecte
October 27th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Christophe Gulizzi Architecte
The programme specifically concerns 5-A-Side Football, played on 7 pitches (4 outdoor and 3 indoor)
The site is an asparagus field between the Luynes Prison and the American Cemetery on the edge of the industrial estates of Milles, near Aix en Provence. We are in an area with protected status (Château de Lenfant XVIII s) subject to recommendations by the ABF (Architectes des Bâtiments de France) with mandatory conditions on alignment and size. The plot of land marks the urban boundary of the town.
SYMBOLIC VALUE, REPRESENTATION, SENSE AND MEANING OF PROJECT
To enter into the Z5 universe is to embrace a dream. It’s about rubbing shoulders with one’s idol.
We are entering into iconology, into an emotional state.
PROJECT ORGANISATION ON THE PLOT
The project carries a dual responsibility. That of rooting itself in the local area and an architectural style which embodies the aura of ZZ. You do not enter into the Z5 universe like you would that of Mickey Mouse. The project takes root following a very specific staging. Its approach, its discovery is an initiation exercise, a precondition to sharing emotions. Starkly blatant, this spatial process makes no concessions to aesthetics and from the axis of the access road, enables one to gradually discover the main building. In black concrete, it is the centre of gravity; it occupies the plot as a number 10 occupies the pitch. Each child who comes here must have eyes that light up and fall asleep at night with the feeling of having met his/her idol.
It is a dark and charismatic building Linked to a specific contextual and political location. Radical, not post modern, neither affected nor pretentious. It assumes its status. No camouflage, no wall of greenery. The main material is light. Following a traditional layout from the Mediterranean house to the patio, we are in permanent relationship of coming out of the shadows and emerging into the light. Far from neo-modern trappings and poverty as a political ambition.
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