Des Cordeliers Cultural Centre
The existing buildings, the church, the Hotel de Balay and the wall of the prison, form an impressive urban setting made up of simple lines, great mineral surfaces and imposing masses. Unfortunately, the relation that these three constructions maintain cannot be experienced from the street. Obviously, a fourth element is needed to enliven the mineral party, and put it in movement. The missing element is the mediathèque/cinemas. It dances to exist opposite to the severe Church and Justice
Like its neighbours, the lines of the new building are simple and its matter is mineral. It curves itself in order to assert its presence and to spare a public place that opens on the street. An urban respiration is created which is welcome in a very dense built context.
The curvature of its southern façade addresses a direct response to the large slope of the slate covered roof of the church; the curve of its plan constitutes a natural connection between the street of Cordeliers, the new central place, and the back of the church. If it is respectful of its environment, the new building is also keen to emphasize its singularity. Its aesthetic is regulated by a combination of curved lines. By this process it appears an autonomous object. Placed in front of one of his façade, one seizes the system that regulates it, understands that it applies to the unit and perceives the whole.
The hexagonal openings are devised as to keep the unity of the masse. The façade are made of seamless concrete. The architectural expression of the exterior is found in the interior. From the entrance, one perceives the entirety of interior volume.
The interior organization is of a great clearness: the various functions are distributed on three levels plus a basement for the movie theaters.