The new town hall building at Saint-Jacques de la Lande is an ideal opportunity to combine an urban strategy and an architectural gesture. Aware of this, we tried to imagine a place that could be a workspace providing state services, a symbolic representation of a community, and a public space capable of generating new collective uses.
The place we created is a response to a question: “How can you create a symbol in a limited amount of space, with a limited budget and on a plot too big?” or, put differently, “Is it possible to resolve the plot’s specific scale problems and transform its constraints into assets?”
We tried to develop this project from a clear standpoint: that the new town hall building has to be a place capable of generating life: - a place more than a building, - a meeting place rather than somewhere one goes for administrative purposes. - a clear, unitary image that can create an identity without resorting to the clichés inherent in buildings representing state authority. - a workplace concerned more with the intelligence of its space than the materials and techniques used to create it.
The project’s federative element is its contemporaneity, and in our view this primarily means minimising impacts, developing a potential and foreseeing future evolutions.
We based our design on easy legibility of the building’s various services, clearly indicated around naturally-lit patios, and the spatial organisation around a central hall.
Our architectural, environmental and economic approach to these programmatic and urban constraints, combined with our will to create a building housing extensive areas of superstructure and limiting intermediate load-bearers to a minimum, gives it the flexibility indispensable for its running and future evolutions.