Architects: Inca Architectes
Location: Fontainebleau, France
Design Team: Cap Paysage, Arpente, Alpes Structures et Rostain Coste, M. Forgue
Client: Seine et Marne tourisme
Budget: 1,000,000 € H.T
Surface Area: 5400 sqm converted; 250 sqm built
Paragraphs: Courtesy of Inca Architectes
The site of the “Gorges de Franchard” is the most popular in the forest area of Fontainebleau (the biggest listed site in France).
This very sensitive site of high quality within the new nature reserve « biosphère » is supported by the European program « PROGRESS »
The goal of the site, which is also the very first Eco tourism center within the île de France region, is the better management of the traffic flow in the area, as much as increasing the public awareness of its great fragility. Organized around a reception and exhibition area, the project includes a large hall designed for welcoming groups and conducting pedagogical activities.
The project has been developed based on the analyses the agency made on the building’s atmosphere and its connection to the landscape.
The building is thought of as a living room in the woods. Its wide and smooth shapes gently wandering along the preserved trees are inspired from the eroded stones seen on the site.
As a true dialogue between architecture and nature the project defines new limits. On one hand there are public areas and on the other the fragile forest with limited access.
The global environmental approach guiding the project ensures the control of its impact. The orientation choices and the protection from the main winds optimise the bioclimatic solutions and the eco-friendly energy sources used. The use of wood and its implementation gives us the opportunity for eco-construction solutions. Superficial foundations ensure the project’s reversibility.
This comfortable and functional project offers a high degree of flexibility depending on the season and the attendance rate.