LocationSaxon Switzerland, 01855 Kirnitzschtal, Germany
Text description provided by the architects. The village of saxon, situated on the rhône plain, lacked a meeting-place for the various events and celebrations that punctuate the year. The municipal authority chose the centre of the village as the site for a car park, community hall and public open space alongside the church.
The community rooms were constructed above the underground car park, which was built on the lower part of the site. Its position defines the space occupied by the first room on the lower level. From there, the building changes its shape, following the topography of the site until it reaches the village square at the highest part of the plot. The layout of this open space adds vitality to the village centre and provides it with a new venue for meetings and events. The setting of the church is enhanced, and the cafés benefit from having a small terrace area on the pedestrianised street.
From the square, the building is unobtrusive, standing just one storey high to avoid obstructing the view towards the valley. The main entrance is here, with a reception area which can also be used for events planned to take place outside. As you approach, you see the full length of the building, which accommodates two multi-purpose rooms. A stone staircase runs along the façade, giving pedestrian access from the road below. Local stone can also be seen in the place st-félix, where raw blocks from the quarry are used as seats and for the fountain. The outdoor lighting was subcontracted to specialists whose expertise helped make this a lively and attractive community space.
The pale grey render of the façade and the zinc roof give way to colour inside the building, where all the components are coloured. The concrete walls and the stained beams, the polished concrete floors, the joinery, everything is coordinated to give the space a vibrant, fun atmosphere.