We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

Gavroche Centre for Children / SOA Architectes

  • Architects: SOA Architectes
  • Location: Saint-Ouen, France
  • Architect: SOA Architectes
  • Project Managment: SOA, Starck (feasibility consultants and economists), GA (acousticians)
  • Client: City of Saint-Ouen
  • Project Year: 2011
  • Photographs: Clément Guillaume

© Clément Guillaume © Clément Guillaume © Clément Guillaume © Clément Guillaume

From the architect. The Gavroche centre for children is a cultural and educational facility situated in the heart of the Victor Hugo development. The latter is part of a large urban renewal scheme consisting principally of housing, offices and commercial buildings organised around the Victor Hugo Garden. The complex triangular plot is located within a heterogeneous built fabric: the park to the West, old town houses to the North and several new 5 storey buildings to the South. The depth of the site provides the building with three different orientations. 

© Clément Guillaume
© Clément Guillaume

The workshops and games rooms are therefore turned towards the garden, most of the spaces benefiting from an unobstructed view out onto greenery. The entrance space, with its forecourt set back from the street, acts as an urban connection with the rue Arago. The building slots into this complex site, preserving, as much as possible, a certain continuity with the existing urban fabric as well as with the layout of the Victor Hugo Garden.

© Clément Guillaume
© Clément Guillaume

The children’s centre stands out as a public facility. The scheme demonstrates cultural, educational and civic intentions with a strong social integration objective. The centre is a place for educational leisure, where children and adolescents are able to develop their own individuality through collective games and workshops. The building’s functional organisation evolves around the central hall, focal point of the centre, entirely open to the public. 

© Clément Guillaume
© Clément Guillaume

Firstly, the scheme rests on a plinth consisting of horizontal lines echoing the configuration of the park. This base supports a number of timber boxes, which appear to be light structures with varied panelling, set out in a fragmented way. The interior layout of the ground floor favours open spaces with maximum transparency, adapted to natural lighting requirements, as well as acoustic conditions. The rigorous organisation of the different entities allows for a great legibility of the various uses, while facilitating the children and visitor’s orientation throughout the building. This is also achieved with the use of a colorimetric language and appropriate signage.

Plans
Plans

Text provided by SOA Architectes.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Gavroche Centre for Children / SOA Architectes" 12 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/167810/gavroche-centre-for-children-soa-architectes/>