The current building displays vestiges of a succession of strata laid down at different points in the past. We are convinced that our proposal should be in the form of an operation to be carried out on the existing building in such a way as to be easily legible by everyone, a logical consequence of the history of the site. We have drawn on features of religious architecture for our references, and we propose to punctuate the space using a series of ‘patches’ integrating all the components that ensure the ‘Maison de l’Architecture’ will be a veritable tool. In order to create overall coherence, we have chosen to work with one single material, corten steel which has a chronological dimension and is informed by the history of the location.
The ground-floor space is very versatile and is above all a very useful public reception area. A large metal plaque has been embedded in the floor of the chapel area. This metal plaque can be raised and folded to create a series of movable backdrops. Other plaques appear to be embedded in the wall but they open out to provide display surfaces or to protect technical equipment. Designed as a continuation of the chapel, there is a spacious hall, traversed by a pre-existing mezzanine floor housing meeting, exhibition and reception spaces. The offices of the board of the association are on the upper floor.