Architects: MDR Architectes
Location: Montpellier, France
Design Team: Sancie Matte Devaux, Frédéric Devaux, Arnaud Rousseau
Area: 900.0 sqm
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Benoit Wherlé
From the architect. The organization of the project is very simple and designed in such ways to minimize space and energy losses. Relatively compact this project links the two halls by a welcome area. This area is dedicated to accessing the two rooms. The inside space keeps user-friendly proportions ; bay windows open on each room in order to make the space easily visible to the visitors from one hall to the next.
The welcome area is open at the end to make it less isolated and provide natural lighting. The office opens to the entrance of the welcome area (monitoring) but also on the two sports hall. A hallway leads to the locker rooms: the latter are organized in two blocks each with a common shower area thus rationalizing the use of space. The halls are open to the outside in order to bring enough natural lighting and offering transversal views on the site’s best areas. The northern facades are opaque to minimize energy losses. On the south, they are mainly closed or protected to control heat gain in the summer.
Colored concrete is a solid, durable material with easy upkeep making for an unalterable base and it gives the project a monolithic characteristic. The walls made of isolated concrete ensure inertia abiding by the latest energy regulations. The frame is made of aggregated wood offering the possibility to use light and performing coverings and accentuating the esthetic quality of the sports halls.
The interior walls of the halls are soundproofed and heat proofed and covered with vented wooden slates, reinforcing the energy conservation and participating in the natural wood work channel. Polycarbonate facades act as real light filters and help control to a maximum the use of artificial lighting while guaranteeing optimal luminosity. Polycarbonate is treated by a process of filling-out the alveolus: the « nanogel » used for this, considerably increases the isolating properties of the material and prevents blinding.
At night, these large translucent panels point out the equipment from afar and act like two huge « lanterns » that complete and save external lighting when the sports halls are occupied. The roofs are mostly covered by a vegetal structure giving the project an esthetic quality as it can be seen from the passing roadway, reinforcing the project’s integration within its natural environment.
As indicated above the configuration of the buildings and the management of the protected or reduced openings on the facades, according to their orientation, play an important part in the energy performance of the building: the western bay windows are narrow and deep in order to limit the glaring sun from the west. The building’s main entrance and the bay window from the expression room are protected by the loggia’s depth. The openings on the North front are almost nonexistent besides an issue from the hall that can be used to enhance the Venturi effect and the quick and natural cooling down of the interior spaces.