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 ST PAUL in Ile de la Réunion, France by Peripheriques Architects
September 29th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Peripheriques Architects
The new media library structures “the gateway” of Saint-Paul city. Its location choice comes as an urban answer to the need of a strong identity in the landscape scale. This building has to become a cultural landmark, through information and training, as well as a visual one through its architecture. Located between sea and mountain, the building shape is a 34m side cube. The
It generates a warm filtered light, maintaining an optimum thermal comfort. This is reinforced by façades made of louvres window blades which creates openings to naturally ventilate the building. In this book, some pages opens like eyes to create chapters, that structures the building : The lobby of the media center, the garden, and the several terraces spread over the top levels molds some lookouts on the Indian Ocean landscape. As book illustrations, the ceilings of the levels reveals some pictures by Michal Batory about medias and Reunion’s heritage. On the floor, some planted islets designed like organic shapes are surrounded by benches, that invites to take a break.
The garden places the media center into a pleasant journey in the district. 3 300 signs. The urban planning in which the Saint-Paul’s media center is included strongly answers to the desire of expressing a new centrality for the city. In this context, the public facility that we designed marks territory by its shape, its readability, from the Tamarins road to the great landscape. The completion of a media center downtown allows the structuration of the “gateway” area. It expresses an urban renewal expected for this district which until now was considered on the fringe of the city.
The urban settlement of this public facility answers to the need of a strong identity for this public facility in the island. This media center has to become a cultural landmark, through information and training, as well as a visual one through its architecture. Building a public construction, over its function, is to settle a construction in a context. Here in Saint-Paul, even if its richness is at the extension from the mountain climax to the seaside, the district also has to be enhanced. The Saint-Paul’s media center unfolds on six levels to take advantage of this quality, enjoying the scenery. It expresses the entrance of the city by a strong urban an architectural act. We designed a 34m side cube that includes a dense project. Its facades are inspired by the pledge of contents, represented in classic and modern medias: books with those trimmed or in folio pages, magazines or disks stack, sedimentation of maps, pile of pictures, stratification of an hard drive layers.
All these accumulations that keeps the datas, are holding mysteries expected to be discovered. This vocabulary of a strong and surprising aesthetic enhance the notion of a visual cue, and reveals the singularity of the “book” object: the facade effect is a stack of irregular sheets. These are actually slight wavy louvres window blades vibrating depending on times of the day, soaking sun shades of colors. In this book some pages are opening like “eyes” to create chapters that structures the building: the lobby of the media center, the garden, and several terraces spread over the top levels molds some lookouts on the Indian Ocean landscape. As book illustrations, the ceilings of the levels gives to read pictures by Michal Batory about medias and Reunion’s heritage. Texts, pictures and sketches combine to generate a cultural atmosphere. Interior spaces are warm, in a uniform white values the colorful pictures of the ceiling.
The free levels opens over 270° to the landscape, bathing in light and crossed by a slight natural breeze coming from the louvres adjustable blades which optimize the thermal comfort of the users. The nature penetrates into the bulding, erasing the limits between inside and outside, to connect the build and the landscape. It generates amazing atmospheres between vegetal and mineral. The garden takes part of this organic ornament, surrounding the building and slipping into the interior spaces. The tall trees offers a smooth and protective shade : Pine trees, flamboyants, tamarins, will soon provide a qualitative canopy. On the ground, some planted islets are limited by benches. This public space invites to take a break and place the media center into a pleasant journey in the district.
Façades are composed of several complementar layers : anodised aluminium sunshades with a natural finish mounted on a steel structure…This composite enveloppe the second facade of the building, a concrete post beam structure with white metal bracings and aluminium chassis with orientable blades.
The media center ceilings are composed of stretched canvas printed of pictures from Michal Batory illustrations. These fabrics are stretched over metal frame suspended and removable if needed with carabiners. The metal frames integrates light lines and technical elements of ventilation and smoke extraction.
Interior floors of the media center are covered in Epoxy resin to reinforce the brightness of interior space and ensure sustainability of the coating implemented. Outdoor coating are alternating swept and bush-hammered concrete using the shape of the eyes designed on the facade. It allows to integrate the concave and convex precast concrete benches creating the islets of greenery in the same undulating design between mineral and vegetal.
– Natural thermal comfort required
Adaptation to the seismic constraints of the site:
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