With a 15th century church, listed as a historic monument in 1927, the Letellier Architects agency seized this heritage opportunity to design the Vindrac-Alayrac House of Culture to enhance the very nature of the place: to stage its particularity.
A multitude of Merovingian sarcophagi were discovered on site in the 1970s, some complete with their cover stone, others with only the body of the tomb and sometimes used as planters. Preserving these precious remains and beyond, making them the main actors in the scenography of the place was the essence of the project.
Thus, the treatment of the west facade focuses on the integration of these gabled sarcophagi through the reinterpretation of the crude steel funeral niches: a fire facade revealing witnesses of the past.
The Cultural House was designed as a simple, efficient and uncluttered volume in order to reveal the entire site through the church and the presbytery thus enhanced.
The building stands out from its immediate environment by a resolutely modern architecture. With independent access, this 107 m² building links with the presbytery. Covered by two roof sections and articulated in two distinct spaces, it allows functional, modular use and scenography by a large interior display case.
A concrete structure combined with a thickness of stone rubble on the outside was chosen for this project, stones extracted from a local quarry, as well as a canal tile roof. The west gable wall will also be built in concrete and exposed rubble, mortar and lime joints. The embrasures of the openings are also treated in stabilized rusted raw steel as an extension of the joinery of the same color.
The present thus honors the past by fully integrating the new cultural site of Vindrac-Alayrac in its function of transmission and innovation for current and future generations.