Charleville-Mézières > la Macérienne

Charleville-Mézières > la Macérienne

The desire to endow the Ardennes region with a SMAC was born from the two-fold realisation that the region was yet to be equipped with a full range of cultural amenities, while the contemporary music scene in the area was blossoming. The site for the new SMAC lies within the Macérienne brownland site, near the banks of the Meuse and close to the urban area around the Faubourg Saint Julien and citadel. The site was home to what remained of the Clément-Bayard plant, a listed building named after its founder, a pioneer of the French automobile industry. The project aimed to redevelop the existing buildings and add an extension for the SMAC on the site, with redesigned exterior spaces in keeping with the character and function of the new entity. A detailed study of the existing heritage buildings, together with programme specifications for the new amenity, led to design choices being made which respect the integrity of the industrial architecture and seek to subtly engage with it as a means of creating a fusional whole. Rather than blocking out the architecture of bygone days, this design fosters a meaningful dialogue between past and present from the vantage point of today’s specific needs. The existing building was conserved in its entirety, including structural framework, walls, flooring and roofing, while the cement roof of Building 1, overlooking the street, was replaced by slate tiles. The existing glazed sections have been replaced by new glazed panelling of identical graphic design, but using glass which respects the insulating and acoustic demands of RT2012. Building 3, also conserved, has been raised and its first floor façade presents a variation on the theme announced by the main façade, using bricks and designs of similar shape and size for the windows. The new extension refutes pastiche and should be interpreted as a reverential re-reading of the buildings of yesteryear. The main auditorium, positioned to the west, is connected to the Club on the ground floor by means of an ample foyer, a buffer area providing spectators with access to the garden. The new building takes the form of a polyhedron, emerging ex nihilo in a gentle upward twist, melding with the existing building onto which it is grafted on the first floor and on which it rests on the second floor. The cladding of the auditorium, built about a mixed framework, is adorned with designs reminiscent of the former plant’s industrial past. A series of square-shaped, textured metal boxes of varying sizes and depths are dotted around the walls and some, positioned back to front and perforated, serve as lighting fitments. The facades hark back to the automobiles formerly produced on the site and in which its reputation was rooted. To the north, a large opening with a loggia offers fine vistas over the surrounding landscape to be enjoyed by visitors on the second floor.
program
realization of an arena for contemporary music - 600 p. standing
project management
atelier King Kong, Alain Vernet, SNC-Lavalin, Ducks Scéno, Gamba Acoustique
client: Metropolitan Community of Charleville-Mézières
location: Charleville-Mézières (08)
surface area: 3 100 m²
Cost (VAT included): 6 330 000 €
date: won in 2013 - stopped APS phase
images/photos: 2:pm
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