Art and Conference Centre

Art and Conference Centre

Dominique Coulon & associés
Venarey-les-Laumes, France
Project Year
Concert Halls

Cultural Centres
David Romero-Uzeda

Art and Conference Centre

Dominique Coulon & associés as Architects

The project stretches alongside the railway line in the small village of Venarey-Les Laumes, in Burgundy. The building, designated a centre for rural excellence, contains a number of different initiatives,including a tourist office, a conference and culture hall, aday nursery, and areas for older people. Our task was to bring all these very different initiatives together in a single dynamic unit. The upper volume seems to float above an almost transparent plinth. Cantilevers accentuate the dissociation of the various folds, each fold producing a facewhich captures the low-angled light produced by the orientation of the building. The lightly perforated opaque skin is divided into a number of triangles – some are matte while others are shiny–, thereby breaking down the structure of the basic volumes. The building often has a different appearance at different times of day. Theday nurseryis located upstairs, while the other initiativesare at ground level. A bright yellow courtyard continues the line of the areas used by the nursery, the purpose being to shieldthemfrom the substantial nuisance caused by the goods trains and high-speed passenger trains which pass at speed here. The transparent features of the ground floor are arranged in such a way that the relationship with the railway line is constant, and perceived as a dynamic event. The volumes of the project express its strong identity in the landscape; it stands like a marker of ambitious political determination.

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