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.
Trivaux-Garenne Campus in Clamart, France by Gaëtan Le Penhuel & Associés – Architectes
September 27th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Gaëtan Le Penhuel & Associés – Architectes
ARCHITECTURAL AND URBAN POSITION
In the residential neighborhood of the Petit-Clamart, this ambitious project includes schools (two elementary schools and two nursery schools) and large sports complex (dojo, gymnasium, tennis courts, and circulation area). The broad trapezium-shaped terrain extends over 5 hectares and offers the opportunity to reconcile two areas, two period urban fabrics based on very different conceptions.
On the south side, the neighborhood of single-family homes spreads out over relatively small city blocks, presenting a soft and repetitive scale. On the north side, a vast neighborhood of social housing rises from a large-scale covered collective space, in a uniform alignment of imposing towers.
Between these two antagonistic cityscapes, the scale of the intervention creates a link through architecture that pacifies their discordant relation, creating three transversal accesses, one of which is a central pedestrian street serving the sports facility and the schools.
The campus site is comprised of two main units: the sports complex, under a vast and unique metal envelope; and the school complex, protected by a landscaped plaza, and which is composed of four schools and their shared areas – lunchroom, recreation areas, a cultural center, and a multi-purpose hall with a separate entrance.
Four schools, mainly on the ground floor, are spread out under a vast green roof, in an inaccessible area but whose calming presence can be viewed and appreciated by all. This semi-intensive green roof, planted as a “flowering prairie,” also ensures excellent thermal insulation, hygrometric comfort, as well as optimal retention of rain water, thereby reducing runoff from the lot. Main bearings on this large site consist of volumes cut through this vast ensemble, emerging from the large green cover, creating occasional double height areas, areas of respiration, and openings toward the sky while also signaling the particular elements of the program located on the first floor.
The sports complex is a landscape/building composed of supple curves. Iimagined as a genuine sports city, its undulating standing seam aluminum envelope also meets the strict technical and aesthetic requirements for design. Touching the ground on its north and south façades, it protects the urban environment from noise pollution.
The geometric complexity of the structure and the roof present interesting technical challenges. These led the architects to make the ambitious and original choice of utilizing cross-laminated timber for the roof’s complex wide span framework, thereby offering the possibility of making large-scale curved box girders.
The framework obtained with these large-scale girders creates a cover of approximately 40m x 100m extending from north to south, and joining the ground at either end where the roof gradually becomes the façade.
The soft and supple outline of the campus creates a new and calm landscape open to its environment. The site as a whole expresses the qualities of a program that organizes shared spaces and shared uses. Thanks to its urban, social and educative characteristics, the program aims to enhance the well-being of the inhabitants of the neighborhood.