Maison du Chemin de l’Île

Maison du Chemin de l’Île

Nanterre, France
Project Year
Thomas Jorion & Fabien Terreaux

Maison du Chemin de l’Île - Nanterre

archi5 as Architects

The project comprises three programmes: a childhood activity centre, a multi-purpose hall and an activity centre for the elderly. Located in a heterogeneous environment surrounded by imposing apartment buildings, this medium sized project is an ensemble of small spaces. It plays with scale and introduces a new concept of public facility/community centre to the neighbourhood. The first scale conveys the idea of a space open to everyone. The second one is more intimate, like a cosy home where each programme has its own space and identity. The natural stone facade that runs the length of the boulevard sits on a slightly cantilevered base set back from the line of buildings, creating an open area planted with lavender and denoting the public nature of the building. Contrary to the regularity of a “town-facing” facade, the inner wall is a composition of more varied volumes so that the interior spaces open up to courtyards within the body of the building. With its vast copper sloped roof, this combination reflects the playful and social character of the childhood centre. The roof ´s design is also in harmony with the surrounding buildings, which also makes the project distinctive. Two olive gardens provide unity to the project. They produce spaces where the many visitors can meet or rest under the shade. On the other side of the building, the curved facade –lined with Douglas Fur– make the outdoor playground more secluded and fun. This house is an High Environmental Quality project (HQE, after its abbreviation in French) and from its beginning all the way to its completion, we have sought to minimize nuisance, waste and pollution. We have likewise endeavoured to incorporate as much environmentally friendly and inexpensive equipment and material as possible in order to ensure that the buildings’ carbon footprint be minimal. This community centre was always conceived as a place where generations of users could mingle and mix, where the whole community could feel welcome creating a community “melting pot”.

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Project Credits
Columbia University School of Nursing
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Columbia University School of Nursing

New York, NY, USA - Build completed in 2017
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