Prize-winner of the competition for the new cultural center of Meudon-la-Forêt, Serero Architects has designed a building wrapped by an organic concrete shell. The project will be presented at the mediatheque of Meudon from June 22nd until July 10th, 2010.
Windows derived from tree canopy
The project is inspired by nature and more specifically by the tree, not in its simple symbolic shape, but in its deep link with architecture: in the relationship between structure and envelope, between redundancy and optimization, strength and fragility. The interaction between the surrounding natural space and the minimalist volumes of the existing buildings conceived by the architect F. Pouillon influenced the main trajectory of our approach. The building follows the orthogonal grid of the district while developing a close connection with the ground space. The project is organized around a central nucleus created by a theater of 300 seats. Its peripheral envelope is lifted above the hall to reveal the inside spaces and circulation. Trapezoidal windows are placed on the whole surrounding of the building avoiding the traditional "black box" effect of a theater located in the middle of an urban environment. In opposition with the unique window used by F. Pouillon for all the housing of the district, we conceived a system of free formed windows, the geometry of which is derived from the canopy of trees.
Centralize spaces without closing them
Our purpose is to create a place of a remarkable quality; on the one hand it opens on the surrounding urban context and on the other hand has a strong identity. The periphery of the building is composed of two levels with reception and meeting spaces, the ground floor, offices, and art studios upstairs. This project is conceived from the inside out, resulting in the manipulation of the ground and the roof which delimit spaces. The building is cantilevers above the reception hall, the square allowing to protect a large glazed surface from the sun and rain.
Studio spaces flooded with natural light
All the spaces of circulation and reception are widely bathed in natural light, either by the curtain wall of the reception hall, or by the sheds on the roof of the studios, which play an important role in the definition of the spaces inside the building. The variation in the size of wall aperture and windows gives a quality of foliage to the bright atmosphere. Illumination inside the main hall changes throughout the day. At the end of the day, lamps installed in these sheds, which are connected to photosensitive cells, will compensate gradually for the lack of natural light. Offices and working spaces are lit by multiple window apertures of free forms which allow every work space to have one or two views of the outdoor and landscaped spaces.
An intelligent skin
The building is clad in an architectonic skin of white concrete which will integrate bits of gravel and limestone of Meudon in its composition. Conceived as a performative skin, the roof is an important element of this project and integrates devices for controlling the internal light and thermal atmosphere of the building. On the south side of the slopped roof, photovoltaic panels will be installed to harvest part of the electrical energy consumed by the building.