The departure station of the cableway is in the center of the Aiguille du Midi square. It is located at the ‘urban’ entrance of Chamonix, bordered by the road Blanche (N° 506) in the Southeast and by the street of Lyret in the Northwest. This square belongs to a larger housing programme called Aiguille du Midi, which plans to create a holiday residence, a hotel and social housing.
The idea is to create a rotunda building, highlighted by its central location in the square. The various entries and functions of the building make it porous. It can be penetrated from everywhere. It connects both parts of the square. In the North, a large porch establishes the public character of the building and allows the extension of the square, it is covered. Under the porch, a public circulation space is created, and allows gathering and distribution of various functions around the cableway. In the South, the building begins by a bar cafeteria, which opens out towards a wooded space, more cosy. Thus, the building is organized around the preserved original volume (station of trucks, machinery and quays): this is the historic and functional heart of the project.
The U shaped new construction is placed around the preserved part without touching it and without altering its volumetric identity. The new part in the ancient is characterized by an architecture made of stone walls and a cantilever roof.
The architectural sensitivity comes from the relationship between mass and material: serenity, stability, resistance to the harsh climate before reaching the spectacular mountains. The stone walls give order to the project. These repeated elements, parallel walls ensure the homogeneity of the ensemble. Their regular rhythm dictates the introduction of light into the building.