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.
Fire and Rescue Centre in Rennes, France by LAN Architecture
March 21st, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: LAN Architecture
The fundamental idea of this project lies at the exact intersection of architecture, urbanism and landscape architecture. We directly considered the urban character of this project as a crucial point, in light of the scale and the impact of the intervention on the surrounding area in future. This project represents the exceptional opportunity to delineate a very special identity. An identity that incorporates concepts like ecologic engagement, energy conservation, passive construction, community interests, social mixture, awareness of the qualities of the landscape, water resource management and preservation of biodiversity along with immutable concepts such as beauty, attractiveness, allurement, atmosphere and poetry.
The parcel is precisely placed at the intersection between the west-east axis, avenue Francois Chateau; and the north-south axis. The west-east axis represents the major axis of the area, the entrance to the city of Rennes from the starting point of Paris. The north-south axis, the rue du Moulin du Joué extends until the bridge that connects the southern and the northern river banks of the Vilaine and the plain of Baud Chardonnet. This strategic location is the center of the area under redevelopment. The Center (Department) of Fire and Emergency Services will be the first building erected on the Francois Chateau axis. The project will in short time turn into the cornerstone of the developing area.It takes the role of a prototype, an inspirational model for a future series of buildings.It is not only about setting the seeds of the urban logic to build a continuous and urban facade along the river bank, but it is also about defining a noticeable image of the renovation of the area, its symbol. Moreover the new building must be conscious of the renovationson the other side of the river Vilaine, placed exactly in front of the parcel. The two river banks, subject of constant renovations, shape the ZAC Baud Chardonnetas a new neighborhood. The future building will produce a pattern made out of exceptional manifestations that will revive and animate the skyline of the neighborhood. The requalification and redefinition of the entrance of the city of Rennes, incorporates the future projects on the northern edge of Avenue Francois Chateau, finding harmony in relation to the ZAC Baud-Chardonnet are the predominant urban, architectural and symbolical obligations that this project has to respond to.
Shape and identity
The task of this project is the proportion and relation between the void and the full. The building is composed by 3900 square meters of built surfaces, and the rest of the area; that are more than 11700 square meters are empty. Seen from this perspective the proportion between full and empty (1 to 3) has as a result that the building has to be arranged on the axis of Francois Chateau so that a clear front façade, with urban delineations, is generated. Thus the space behind the building has a flexible and functional character. The implantation of the building along the long side of the street seemed to be the most appropriate solution in order to satisfy the majority of the urban intentions of the project.Therefore the two floors of the building extend over the entire length of the parcel. The tower, containing the offices and services is located of top of it. The tower shapes a new skyline, vivifying the previous horizon. The height of the tower permits the user to take benefit of the views above Avenue Francois Chateau, the view in direction Vilaine and in direction of the flood plains. The functional services were installed behind the building, perpendicular to the axis. We divided the external area into two distinct spaces: the areas where you can drive and areas to park. Considering the program and the functionality of the building, the facade should have a continuous character; a common facade for all different spaces. The windows are characterized by a repeated module of 60 x 100 cm in height. This modularity allows being very flexible in the composition of the interiors. Each office is supplied with a minimum of six windows: two in the lower part, two on the floor level and two on the level of the height of the person. In the south façade, which offers the views towards the river, some openings are treated differently. This is caused by the fact that these openings have to respond to programs of compatibility on the level of coverage. Also the openings of the big sport hall and the big meeting room are treated the same way. During the daytime these openings show what is happening inside while during the night the interplay of holes of the facade transforms the building into a luminous lamp: a building that turns into a nightlight that testifies the permanent devotion of the fire brigade.
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