Pierres Blanches Cultural center
Multi-purpose festive hall, with movable stands and stage, music and associative pole including 3 rehearsal rooms and dressing rooms, local caterer and scenic technical reserves.
The hybrid implementation of the project in this plot on the periphery of the city is materialized through a compact architectural object whose fragmentation offers a coherent set of micro-urbanity that reveals the identity of each function.
Neither in the heart of the town center, nor exactly outside the city of Saint Jean de Boiseau and the urban sprawl that operates there, the project takes actively part to the transformation of the territory of Nantes’ metropolis. Formally, architecture choices are siding with the association of two contradictory movements: the need to assert the unity in this municipal project and the objective of integrating the project in the suburban scale of the surroundings.
Already from the entrance esplanade, created in the continuity of the existing pedestrian path, the perception of the different uses of the building is ensured by several successive visual plans: the hall and patio / the spacious lounge / the wooded landscape in the South.
The heterogeneity offered by the volumetric distinction of the main functions (rehearsal studios, spacious activities room, reception hall) is compensated by the simplicity of the architectural vocabulary and the coherence in the materials that were been used.
The main reception areas (reception hall, activity room, meeting room, music room) benefit from very high ceiling heights as well as from particular framings of the landscape, allowing to consider the large porosities between indoor and outdoor spaces with differentiated qualities of use.
Oak, terracotta brick, raw concrete, zinc, all the materials used, offer a perennial architecture that provides spaces with the quality that an equipment of public character needs to embrace and communicate.
The quality of the materials used is at the center of the proposed ambiances, both inside and outside and fully participates in making singular the project and its «atmosphere»: the sobriety of the noble materials gives to all spaces the solemn character that certain uses require and makes it possible to highlight the quality of all space assets.
If the term «multipurpose room» does not seem appropriate because of the generic character and the impoverished image it conveys, the use of raw and sustainable materials and the quality of their implementation are integrated as conceptual tool for a sober and timeless contemporary architecture.
The rehearsal rooms (theatre and music) benefit from a special «box-in-the- box» treatment while offering differentiated framings towards the landscape and the outdoor spaces.
With folded tiers, the theatre once again becomes a festive area and opens onto a protected terrace to the south thanks to its large glazed facade with sliding / folding leaves.
Although a certain triviality of a rather typical context of rural areas evolving in metropolis’ suburbs, the site benefits from a real landscape quality conferred by beautiful vegetation and offering great proximity (pedestrian / bicycle) to the town center and the Loire river.
The integration of the project benefits from the existing landscape resources and its implementation meets both the challenges of acoustic protection of the neighbourhood housing and the need to provide a strong identity to the new associative and cultural hub.