Bègles > chapel in Mussonville park

Bègles > chapel in Mussonville park

The Chapelle de Mussonville, situated in Bègles, was built in 1880, but became a venue for live performance during the 1990s. It did not, however, live up to requirements in terms of surface area and functionality. Its redevelopment and extension included the addition of a 160 m2 foyer serving as an exhibition space and lobby, a 17 m2 green room, a storehouse and 480 m2 of exterior spaces also designed to accommodate cultural activities. It was essential that these additions should not appear as unsightly growths protruding from the chapel, and so their design is rooted in conceptual analysis of the existing building, its original function and layout, creating strong bonds between these eminently contemporary additions and the architectural heritage of the site. The extension evokes the spirit of a cloister, accommodating a variety of functions. A rectilinear structure, formed by concrete pillars with a cross-section identical to that of the chapel’s buttresses, was laid out along three sides of the building. The pressure points are linked at the top by metal bars, thereby accentuating the impression of a geometrically defined space with precise contours. The platform thus created plays on the lie of the land and may be accessed from the gardens via an imposing sweep of steps, also serving as tiered seating for those who wish to contemplate the natural surroundings. The flooring of the cloister is made of compacted gravel, not only underlining its significance as a promontory, but reinforcing its bonds with the surrounding natural environment. The overall design, including both chapel and extension, are enclosed by screen walls made from untreated acacia logs, mounted on a framework of galvanised steel tubing. When events take place inside the chapel, this enclosure may be opened onto the gardens by means of a series of ample doorways, but may be closed completely at other times, thereby clearly framing our visual appreciation of the exterior spaces.
program
conversion of a chapel into a concert hall
project management
atelier d’architecture King Kong, Cotec, IdB Acoustique
client: City of Bègles
location: Bègles (33)
surface area: 570 m²
Cost (VAT included): 1 130 000 €
date: completed in may 2008
images/photos: Arthur Péquin
awards: Agora 2010 Prize
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