Avranches > cultural centre

Avranches > cultural centre

This project was designed for Avranches, the main town in the local Communauté de Communes and a focal point for intercommunal activity. Two main roads, one running from north to south and the other from east to west, like the Roman cardo and decumanus, converge towards the cultural centre. The designated plot of land is extremely steep and provided inspiration for including a main lobby distributing the building’s three principal volumes without hindering views over the countryside beyond. As visitors leave the botanical gardens, they enter the building via the landscaped roof spaces of the multimedia library and performing arts hall. A series of routes, all generously planted, lead onto the central lobby area. We designed a heavy retaining wall, typical of those commonly found in Avranches, renowned for its steep topography and agricultural terracing. The multimedia library stands on this solid base and enjoys fine vistas over the impressive landscape of the Mont Saint Michel bay. The performing arts hall is set into the ground, but its upper portion emerges to the southwest of the plot. Its sloping walls are also reminiscent of the town’s iconic retaining walls and have enabled us to include terraced rooftop gardens for the enjoyment of the local population and visitors to the centre. The music school is housed within the abbey and enjoys easy access to the facilities offered by the cultural centre. As stipulated in the programme specifications, there is no aisle down the middle of the performance hall, but rather a single block of tiered retractable seating. The sound and lighting desk is situated beneath the tiered seating, thus retaining its efficiency when the circle is concealed to reduce seating capacity. When the retractable seating is fully extended, it forms a continuous whole with the circle. This new cultural centre, built around two main structural throughways and efficiently laid out, eloquently echoes elements of the town’s vernacular architecture and, rather than spoiling or detracting from the site, serves to uncover its beauty.
program
creation of a cultural centre with a hall for cultural events, a media library and a music school
project management
atelier King Kong, Aurélien Dufour, Freddy Charrier - Let’s Grow, Egis, Ducks Scéno, idB Acoustique
client: Avranches Mont-Saint-Michel Communauté de communes
location: Avranches (50)
surface area: 4 800 m²
Cost (VAT included): 13 950 000 €
date: won in 2016 - stopped in design phase
images/photos: atelier d'architecture King Kong - José Llorens
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