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.
Cultural Centre in Pontault Combault, France by archi5 with B. Huidobro
January 3rd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: archi5
Located in Pontault Combault, a medium sized town about 30 km from Paris, this cultural project is a mix of several programs.
The building is surrounded by a number of low-rise buildings set very close together on a steep slope. On this difficult terrain the aim of our project is to highlight the public nature of the facility while at the same time give it a strong identity that respects the scale of the surrounding buildings and houses, which for the most part are one or two storeys high. Each aspect of the program has different volumetric requirements and yet the building must be coherent and unique.
The shape of the cultural centre is given by the layout of the different volumes, respecting the height of the existing buildings in a fashion similar to the meanderings of the contiguous Rue de l’Eglise, building circles around creating a generous public space.
The transparent facades are an extension of the public space to the interior of the building offering generous views to and from the outside. These diaphanous façades provide a smooth transition that fuses the building with its surroundings. At night the light from these openings makes the building elegantly luminous. The volume of the exhibition hall extends all the way to the volume of the theatre.
Taking advantage of the slope, it overhangs the public space but does not extend over the roof of the adjacent buildings. This projecting volume emphasises the main entrance. The service areas and technical entrances are hidden from public view at the back of the building, but well organised for the delivery of technical equipment.
Inside the building, spaces are white and elegantly laid out. Bright-coloured furniture cheers the harmonious and luminous interior. To make the exhibition area more versatile the floors and walls are bare. Naturally the theatre/auditorium is darker and uniform in tones of midnight blue better suited to the requirements of theatre and other stage lightin.
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