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.
Clermont-Ferrand School of architecture in France by du Besset-Lyon architectes urbanistes
December 24th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: AHA
The task was to transform a sanatorium, built in 1930’s, into a School of Architecture. The Sanatorium is a perfect example of functional architecture, and it has to change radically its function. In order to preserve the rational spirit of the existing building and to create a model of a coherent architecture for the future students, our project becomes a pure reconversion: we restated the main architectural concept of the Sanatorium.
The project consists of 5 points:
2 – At times, the sanatorium isolated the patients; today, it hosts social activities. The essential student gatherings are located on the ground floor in connected spaces.
3 – The sun was the reason of existence of the sanatorium that was oriented towards the south. We interpreted this distinctive feature: The main entry, situated on the North façade is no longer considered as a back shadowy side of the South façade. It receives the sun thanks to a monumental mirror that reflects the illuminated landscape. On each level, the horizontal circulation is placed on the South side of the building and serves as a thermal barrier protecting the studios from the sunlight.
4 – The narrowness of the building becomes of a use. On each level the main circulation is placed along the South side of the building. One can enjoy an exceptionally open panoramic view taking the long walkway.
5 – The sanatorium is a rational architecture that had to be adapted to the actual fire and seismic regulations. The existing structure in masonry has been doubled for seismic reasons by a substantial steel structure. The fire security passage runs along southern façade and coordinates the relationship between the building and the terrace garden.
The du Besset-Lyon Partnership was created in 1988 in Paris. It actually consists, besides the two partners, of ten full time employees, eight of whom are registered architects.
The office has been involved in the design and construction of several buildings in a number of areas: public amenities – mainly libraries offices, housing, industrial constructions and interior design. The office is also in charge of several urban studies.
Du Besset-Lyon has been awarded “Equerre d’Argent” in 2002 (Le Moniteur prize), was finalist for the Mies Van der Rohe Prize in 2003, and was second “Prize for first achievement” in 1987 (Le Moniteur prize). The office has established a reputation for quality in its architectural projects and is regularly invited in major competitions.
Each building and architectural project produced by the office is specific and its design is the result of a statement. In the statement we make clear our position by answering some basic questions: what ambitions, potentials, limits and contradictions can be found in the situations in which the projects will play its part? How does the project respond to the situation and bring coherence to it? How does it go beyond the ordinary condition? What are the advantages that architecture can bring? How architecture does relate to the cultural background? Our positions, our concepts, constantly differ because there are no given situations, because we tend to be precise and because the means of architecture are, in principle, infinite. Accordingly our buildings do not look alike.