Architects: Platform Architectures
Location: Hérouville-Saint-Clair, Basse-Normandie, France.
Architect In Charge: Julie Clement
Design Team: Bruno Douliery, François Ehouarn, Olivier Leroy
Photographs: Jerome Ricolleau
The development that completes the urban composition programme of the town of Hérouville-Saint-Clair is an enterprise centre to the west of the Place de l’Europe. The requirements of the programme – the local employment centre, a business incubator and a restaurant – imposed constraints on the layout of the centre that were overcome by the three primary volumes being assembled in an apparent imbalance.
The symbolic element of the project, the subtle game of piling up and shifting masses, generates an unease in the spectator: it is a delicate attack on the basic laws of gravity. The building is designed to be read from two perspectives: firstly there is the base, which follows the lines of force of the town and landscape, and then there is the assumed and asserted verticality. The facade of the building brings urban and architectural objectives into convergence, and even those of sustainable development.
The horizontal strata of brass-coloured aluminium integrate with the lines of the sun screens in a vertical arrhythmia, optimising thermal control and protection against the sun within the building.