Charleville-Mézières > IIM

Charleville-Mézières > IIM

The new IIM building (International Puppetry Institute) is set on a particularly long and relatively narrow strip of land. The problems stemming from its existing morphology – notably the low ceilings – encouraged the architects at King Kong to rework its layout from top to bottom, making each individual portion as functional and pleasant to use as possible. The determining element of the overall design was the performance arena and workshop positioned at basement level. Visitors entering the building, beneath the porch, would thereby enjoy unhindered views of the activities going on in the arena. Naturally, a movable double acoustic panel may be lowered into place to protect the students/artists from the public’s gaze, as and when required. This would also be the case during performances, guaranteeing an equitable partition of usable space. The reception area, offices and Café des Marionnettes also entertain close bonds with the arena. The set design workshops and storehouse are positioned to the rear and open onto the gardens, also available as an alternative activity space. The major stumbling block of the project’s design was how best to manage the inflow of natural light. The only answer, if the needs of the building’s different functions were to be respected, was to create a succession of levels and play on the notion of height. This volume arrangement went hand in hand with another key feature – the creation of a light well running from the top floor down to the first floor and on to the ground floor in the reception area, thereby allowing natural light to generously bathe the inside spaces. The rear façade opens onto the gardens and its glazed surface is enhanced by a brise-soleil, not only to shield those inside the building from the general gaze, but also out of respect for the privacy of the occupants of the neighbouring house.
program
restructuration of the International Puppetry Institute (IIM)
project management
atelier d'architecture King Kong, Khephren Ingénierie, Alto Ingénierie, Kahle Acoustics, VPEAS, Ducks Scéno
client: Metropolitan Community of Charleville-Mézières
location: Charleville-Mézières
surface area: 3 300 m²
Cost (VAT included): 6 400 000 €
date: competition 2012
images/photos: 2:pm
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