The construction of the Temporary Information Centre, open in May 2012, constitutes part of the operation to restore the maritime character of the Mont Saint Michel.
The operation includes: the dredging of the bay, a pedestrian footbridge between the mainland and the rock, a new shuttle system and car parking for visitors.
The main challenge of the project was to meet the client’s demands for project completion by April 2012, leaving just 3 months for the design phases and 2 months for construction. To respond to the issues of time and cost, our company quickly turned towards a solution of prefabricated modules, a solution that also allows easy dismantling and limits environmental impact of construction.
Situated just behind the "Marais Blanc”, the main pedestrian access to the Mont-Saint-Michel, the project sits in amongst the apple trees to form an integrale part of the surrounding landscape.
The project combines closed functional volumes with open outdoor spaces bounded together by a wooden deck raised above ground level.
Inspired by the organisation of neighbouring farmyards, the buildings are grouped around an open central space punctuated by the apple trees. This disposition is favorable for the different attendances during the year and in particular the summer months, where the public can easily make use of the outdoor spaces.
Located at the junction of pedestrian routes, the project assumes a role of identification and articulation in the extended horizontality of the new car park. Visitors are led up by sloping pathways, weaving in and around the apple trees towards the platform upon which sits three built entities of different size and materiality. The contrast between these three volumes defines the void that link the project.
The first building houses the main reception desk and exhibition space. These interior functions extend out towards the exterior and are sheltered beneath the canopy that runs along the main facade.
The canopy repeats the rhythm of the prefabricated modules and affirms a structural frame for the project.
This long, low, charcoal grey volume reflects the character of the existing zinc roofs in the park and creates homogeneity within the landscape.
The second and third buildings house office space, staff and public facilities. These two volumes are clad in wooden slats, allowing us to unify the architectural image of the project.
Where there are window openings the cladding system acts as a filter of natural light and public views. The application of the cladding system, deliberately simple, reuses the wooden floor slats in a vertical position, playing only on the distance of each fixed profile to create a slight vibration contrasting with the dark metal neighbouring volume. The facade expresses a minimalist and ephemeral aesthetic quality.
Program: Information centre, exhibition spaces, office space, public facilities and services
France surfaces: Net surface area - 360m² / outdoor - 1500m² Budget: 500 000 € VAT
Planning Studies: September-November 2011
Construction: February-April 2012
Delivery: April 2012