Text description provided by the architects. The NOMADE architectes agency recently delivered a reception and leisure centre in Ablon-sur-Seine. Located on a dense site, the reception and leisure centre is positioned between the primary school building forming part of the Pierre et Marie Curie school complex and a personnel accommodation building to the east. This layout led to an architecture based on two compact volumes.
To meet the architectural constraints, sets of boxes and offsets were designed to allow the building to breathe through the incorporation of solids and voids, patios and double heights. The north façade clearly reveals the entrance to the reception centre and the existing school. The other façades are given a sense of movement through breaks in the vertical layouts and by the presence of a large glazed cleft on the west façade containing the reception hall and circulation areas which give directly onto the schoolyard.
The four programme entities, being the reception area, nursery hub, primary hub and dining room, are all either physically or visually linked to the schoolyard, being the project’s main outdoor space.
Inside, the ground floor is handled in a way adapted to the youngest children, notably by avoiding long distribution corridors. To permit fluid circulation movements, most classrooms have a double access, either from the hall and corridors or from the schoolyard. The three nursery hub activities rooms are provided with direct access to a rest and clean-up room. These can operate independently and permit the best possible exchanges between spaces.
The distribution of classrooms on the upper floor is organised according to the building’s orientation and a search for sunshine and luminosity. Access decks, lightwells and fittings have been designed to meet these needs. Spaces independent from one another and devoted to reading or activities have been laid out to give greater independence to the children in the primary hub.
The environmental impact of the building was taken into consideration throughout the development of the project, from the works through to choice of materials and the long-term maintenance of the building. The main innovation lies in its structure. This timber framed building integrates structural challenges through cantilevers, façade offsets and the incorporation of large glazed openings. The composition of the timber framework walls provides a very high performance level and resulted in the reception centre receiving a BBB (low consumption building) label. A semi-extensive planted roof comprising various plant species completes the 5th façade.