OFF Architecture‘s proposal recently received first prize for their Cultural Center in Cugnaux, France. The building’s central element is the exterior treatment which is a woven wooden mesh that filters different densities of light based on thermal, visual and ambient qualities defined by each program.
More about the winning proposal after the break.
The building’s main entry establishes a strong link between the building and the city, while naturally leading the public to the lobby. The building also utilizes its unique site, as the landscaped park offers undulating hills to shelter actual or potential programs, and a vegetal canopy helps to break and adapt the scale of the building to its surroundings.
The building is designed as a compact object punctuated to its center by a patio that spans three levels. A total of four circulation hubs are organized in a central core accessible from the main lobby. These elements bring users to different levels: two are dedicated to the public whereas the others secure an access to the staff. In this way, the flows of people are clearly identified and facilitate professional circulations between different poles: the showroom, the main venue/amphitheater, the municipal archives, the school of art education, the library, the cultural services and the technical rooms.
The amphitheatre, directly accessible from the lobby, accommodates from 400 seats to 1000 standing people. It is designed to offer the public the best conditions of visibility and listening. Plus, mobile benches make the space flexible for different kinds of events.