Architects: Guinée et Potin Architects
Location: Quimper, France
Architect In Charge: Guinée et Potin
Design Team: Anne-Flore Guinée, Hervé Potin, Solen Nico, Jean Chevalier
Landscape Designers: Guillaume Sevin Paysages
Engineering: ISATEG, ITAC
Area: 1,519 sqm
Photographs: Stéphane Chalmeau
The city council house construction is located in Quimper, in an urban re-newing area called Kermoysan. On north the site faces on to carpark and residential housing from the sixties; on south to the main street and round about. On the western boundary stands a lot of oaks and sweet chestnut trees and a little footpath going toward individual houses. In this particular context, the project proposes a strong identity, re-telling a «story» and re-creating a place. The building is clad in a light wood skin with a geometric pattern, bringing back to an imaginary, and reminding the half-timbered houses from the historical city of Quimper. The existing natural environment combined with the new landscape frontside creates a green setting for the new city council house.
Around the atrium
The city council house of Quimper has a very complex program combining the city council house and public services such as social services or early childhood services. In this way, the project suggests positioning and articulating in a rational way its multiple entities around a central atrium. This one is open on the entrance and main floors, in a logic of fluidity, legibility, and conviviality of spaces. This atrium is the heart of the project. It offers comfortable natural light in the building all year long, and values the vertical circulations (access to the floors) and the horizontal circulations (footbridges and around the atrium)
In 2002, Anne-Flore Guinée and Hervé Potin opened their office in Nantes, where they not only produce architecture. As plastic artist, Anne-Flore Guinée designed «Park Side Walk», a 200 meters frieze for Aryan Ashimoto in Tokyo, the covers and illustrations of a collection of children books edited by Paris-Musées, and Pinky- Piggy, a pink felt commercialized by Hachioji Seibu, Tokyo. Both in objects, designs and architecture drawings, Anne-Flore Guinée and Hervé Potin select a digest of representations of ingenuous or infantile taste. Certainly, the infantile effect appears also in their architecture: In the tree-trunks-columns in the Ecomuseum in Rennes, or in European 5, the Place de Strasbourg streetcars station, projected as an amorphous mass covered by a sutured Frankestein skin, but with the colors of the sixties animation drawings.