LAN Architecture

LAN Architecture

Paris, FR


Gymnasium and Esplanade

The strategy developed for the project was to create an architecture that, over and above meeting a functional need and programmatic constraints, could also:

- create a link with the roundabout

- define the form taken by the esplanade

- give the town a new image and symbol

- integrate into the urban context, with its rich style and language, without disturbing the existing balance and synergy

- provide a new definition for the play and sports areas

The public spaces: esplanade and square

The building’s orthogonal footprint lies parallel to the college and town hall elevations and permits the requalification and enhancement of the urban spaces.

The treatment given to the esplanade involved the insertion of Corten steel like plates signalling the entrances to the various buildings and the new gymnasium.

The architectural challenge: balance and magic

The choice of a copper facing for the elevations was dictated by a desire to give the building a rich and elegant appearance able to integrate smoothly into the vocabularies used by the churches, college (stone) and town hall (render). The elevations are intended to reflect the buildings giving onto the esplanade, breaking up the perception of the gymnasium and mirroring the other buildings.

While the building governs the spaces, its elevations create an ambiguity that shatters its materiality and makes it seem to disappear behind its reflective surfaces. The aim is to give an impression of lightness and magic. As people walk by, the reflective surfaces undergo constant change, revealing new elevations.

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Status: Built
Location: Chelles, FR
Firm Role: LAN Architecture (Lead Architect)
Additional Credits: BETEM (TCE), Isabelle Hurpy (HEQ). Photo Credits: Julien Lanoo