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.
LEISURE FACILITY ON THE LAKE OF VIOREAU in FRANCE by GUINEE*POTIN Architects
April 30th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: GUINEE*POTIN Architects
In the city of Joué sur Erdre, aside the lake of Vioreau, is set the Leisure Facility on the site called ‘la Boustière’.
The localization of the project is generated ‘naturally’ on three borders : on the North side the building is sitting on a hill ; there is an existing pathway bypassing the site from North to South ; a camping field is set on the West part of the site.
The site is turned to the South, facing the shores and the banks of the lake.
Discovering the site, one can measure the importance of a project that would have to be set as a link between the different elements composing the environment : the water sports facility, the parking lot uphill, the archery training spot, the camping site, and the pathway going to the lake.
The architectural project
The leisure facility has to be inscribed in the environment and play with it, without disturbing it, just modifying its principles, in cohesion with the architectural and landscapes datas given here. The project turns the site, composed of independent elements, into a single piece, well articulated and wired. To comfort that, it was decided not to modify anything ; the camping site, the different access, the landscape layouts, the pathways going through the site.
The topography of the site is totally used to set the project on two axes:
– North/South axe, in order to fit the project in the hill ;
– West/East axe, in order to stretch the project along the hill, parallel to the bank of the lake.
The floor of the upper level is set on the natural terrain, creating a soft slope from the parking lot.
The downslope of the site makes that the new building does not impact much the site, slipping the storage rooms, the changing rooms, the technical rooms in the terrain, at the lower floor, on the same level as the bank, making the manœuvre and the access to the lake easier.
Thus each floor stands on the ground level, connected directly to the topography of the site. The lower level has a generous space (4m under the beams) to store all the water sports equipment.
The project is based on a sustainable approach, adopting the principles of a bioclimatic architecture:
This disposals and passive methods concerning the form, the implantation, the orientation and the nature of the facades and the roof are to be completed by simple and well-known technical solutions, such as reinforced isolation, mechanical ventilation, transformation of the energy of the heat, etc. This technician work on a perfect air-tightness and the use of a passive production of electricity, and lead us to great thermal performances.
Concept : a contemporary approach of vernacular aesthetic.
In this context, marked by a poetic of the landscape, the project sets a strong identity, interpreting in a contemporaneous way the vernacular aspect of the site. The project superposes two layers that reveal the context as well as the program :
– on the lower level, a mineral layer made of moulded concrete giving a rocky aspect lays on a site-inspired geometry, that you can find in the area of Chateaubriand/Nozay/Joué sur Erdre, from the vernacular architecture made of stones to the numerous schist quarries.
This moulded concrete skin is covered with irregular paintings, interpreting the colours of the rocks on the site.
– on the upper level, a large an lightful glazed South façade turns into a wooden covering on the North, West and East façades, just like the wooden architecture of the Pays de la Mée.
The project relies only on simple technical construction solutions and well-known materials. Taking into account the energy performances og the equipment and the autonomy of the two levels, we decided to adopt the following constructive principles :
– for the upper level a timber framework. Everything is prefabricated, this way we ensure the control of the detail, of the assemblies, and it guarantees a noiseless construction site and a flexibility of the building in the future ;
– for the lower level a pilars and beams concrete structure.
These solutions are a guarantee of sustainability of the materials, it increases inertia, allow to have a clean construction site, and a possible evolution of the use of the building.
The skin of the North façade is extended to the roof on an self-protected impermeability. This solution needs very few control.
On the South part, the slope of the roof hosts solar panels, without modifying the esthetic of the building.
The upper level / ‘a wood refugy’
From the parking lot to the principal access on the North façade; the visitor is guided by a footbridge crossing a landscape dike.
The reception hall is North and South oriented, controls the access and the distribution to the services of the facility : class rooms, multimedia room, changing rooms and storage. It offers also a private and discrete access to the housing.
It is a large and comfortable space (4.5m high under the ridgepole), lightened by the smooth North light goign through the chimney, and direct sun from the largely glazed South façade.
It is opened on Vioreau’s lake thanks to large all-high windows and a terrace, transition between the inside and the outside.
The hall contains the reception desk, the secretary and management offices, and man/woman toilets.
Class rooms, ‘nature’ room and multimedia room
Situated on the East part of the upper level, the class rooms are controlled by the reception hall.
They are oriented on the North/South axis and are granted with a view on the lake, largely opened to the South thanks to ‘over-measured’ all-height windows, a balcony on the landscape.
They are linked to each other, and the ‘nature’ class room can open directly on the reception hall.
The multimedia room is on the West part, and is controlled by the management offices.
The housing for the watchman and the accommodations for the seasonal workers are on the West part of the upper level. They have a private access from the pedestrian pathway.
Many apparatus reinforce the notion of appropriation and proper house : a footbridge, a small barrier access, a private transition room, a South oriented terrace for the watchman’s housing.
These accommodations also have a direct access to the reception hall and users do not need to cross the outside playground to get to their housing.
The lower level / ‘a rock inhabited’
The rooms are positioned along the façade as much as possible so that they can take advantage of a natural enlightning and ventilation, specially for the ‘wet’ rooms.
Studio / storages
On the East part of the lower level are placed the storage rooms for the water sports and the mountain bikes, and the technical workshop. They have huge spaces opened on the outside thanks to all-height folding doors.
The dryer room opens directly to the outside or on the storage.
They are in the West of the lower level and are articulated around a generous corridor, separating the two main changing rooms. Two different circuits, a ‘wet’ one and a ‘dry’ one, are offered, generated by the disposition of the elements.
When the users are dry, they can go to the reception hall and use the ‘dry’ circuit without crossing the ‘wet’ circuit.
The changing rooms are placed along the façades : they have direct sunshine and ventilation.
They are compacted in the West part of the building, and are directly accessible from the outside.
It is found on the East outside wall of the lower level, 14m long (corresponding to 9 climbing ways), 6 to 8m high thanks to the difference between the lower and the upper levels.
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