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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Media Library in Montauban, France by Colboc Franzen & Associés

 
October 8th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Colboc Franzen & Associés

The construction of the new multimedia library of Montauban is spearheading an urban renewal project in the eastern quarters of the city. It must mark the entrance to the city, providing an identity to these neglected neighborhoods while still representing the city of Montauban. In parallel it is a project of reinvention: in these times of the digitalization of knowledge, the challenges of such a design are of spatialization and of materialization of the information and its division. This is the “third place” between domestic space and work space.

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

  • Architects: Colboc Franzen & Associés
  • Project: Media Library
  • Location: Montauban, France
  • Photography: Paul Raftery
  • Client: Montauban Town Council
  • Budget: € 7,200,000 excluding all tax
  • Surfaces: Net floor area: 3,800 m²

Team project management:

  • Project Manager: Géraud Pin-Barras
  • Team: Floriane Bataillard, Guillaume Choplain, Théo Dumel, Ulrich Faudry, Yann Follain, Julie Mafrand, Clément Maître, Théophile Marmorat, Ana Vida Pozuelo
  • Mission: base + exe partial CPB and furniture

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Technical consultancies

  • Structure: Group Alto
  • Fluids and HQE: INEX
  • Economy: Bureau Michel Forgue
  • HHT: ATPI | Acoustics: JP Lamoureux
  • Landscaping: D Landscape
  • Lighting: SB & R B
  • SPC: INAFA
  • Early studies: project competition winner, 2005
  • Delivery date : February 2013

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Contractors :

  • LAGARRIGUE BTP et INSE: terracing, foundations, structural work
  • RENAUDAT: structural steel work
  • SO.PRI.BAT: steel tanks roofing + waterproofing
  • TROISEL SA: ceramic panel cladding + over-roofing
  • LUMIERE ET FORCE: high and low voltage electricity
  • REALCO: outdoor fittings and smooth aluminium façade
  • CONSTRUCTION SAINT-ELOI: metalwork
  • MISPOUILLE: plumbing/toilets
  • GTVS: heating, ventilation, air-conditioning
  • OTIS: elevator
  • LAGARRIGUE: partitions, doubling/false ceilings
  • BATTUT: indoor wooden fittings
  • MERZ FABIEN: tiles, earthenware
  • LE SOL FRANCAIS: soft floors
  • VEDEILHE: painting, wall coatings
  • MALET: roads + external works
  • CAUSSAT: landscaping

Program : subject reference areas, cafeteria, 120-seater auditorium, exhibition room, car parks

Sustainable development :

  •  Green Building project (Targets 1, 4, 8 and 10)
  • Complies with RT 2005 thermal insulation standards

Use of certified materials

  • Balanced ventilation with heat recovery
  • Low noise pollution

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

The field of influence of the future multimedia library is bordered and cut by roads whose geometries are marked by history. The road crossing the site was developed by the 19th century: the former fragmented land, and thus a part of the blocks built adjacent to the library, yields to this geometry; the road along the land to the south is a bypass created in the 19th century; finally, the roads and built blocks to the north are marked by the creation of the district from the 60s to the end of the 70s. How to join these various lines?

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

The interpretation of the program resulted in dividing it into three equivalent parts: a citizens’ forum, a large reading space that invites discovery and meetings, and rooms for reading and working. By superimposing these three programmatic entities, placing the last level obliquely so that it shares its diagonal with the two lower floors, and linking them by triangulation, we generate an interior spatiality that responds to the architectural brief and a volume that addresses all the geometries of the site. Indeed, the ground floor and the first floor border the 19th century road. To the south, the overhang is slightly shortened to fit the curve of the bypass. The second floor is placed perpendicular to the Louis XIV road and locates the building and its outline within the dominant historical geometry. Finally, the triangulation uses the geometry of the recent urbanization, marking the northern part of the lands.

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

From the neighborhoods being restructured, the visitor accesses the multimedia library under the northern overhang that protects it from nuisances of the bypass road and the autumn wind. On the ground floor, the citizen forum is for pedestrians and welcomes visitors. In direct visual relationship with current events, the first floor contains the “imaginary worlds”, a place of exploration and discovery addressing all age groups.

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

It enjoys stepped reading spaces that connect it spatially and visually to the second floor. The latter is moved to the mezzanine over the “imaginary worlds”, which benefits in this way from a contribution of natural light overhead. At the ends of these two reading spaces, high windows frame the individual elements of the context: the entrance of the city, a grove of preserved centenary trees, the city center of Montauban. By means of the initial geometric manipulation, the interiors of the media library come into resonance with the city. The interior spaces are free from any bearing point: a total flexibility of use is assured.

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

The building is draped with a coat of terra cotta, a tribute to the brick architecture characteristic of Montauban. Only the large panes of glass on those floors with reading tables pierce this unusual block of terra cotta. The treatment of the outdoor spaces with tinted concrete evokes the cobbled sidewalks of the old town.

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Image Courtesy © Paul Raftery

Image Courtesy © Colboc Franzen & Associés

Image Courtesy © Colboc Franzen & Associés

Image Courtesy © Colboc Franzen & Associés

Image Courtesy © Colboc Franzen & Associés

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