Location181 Route de Lyon, 67400 Illkirch-Graffenstaden, France
Agent ArchitectRenato Filippini architect
Engineering ConsultantOTE Ingénierie
Environmental engineering ConsultantOTELIO
Acoustics ExpertAKOUSTIK Ingénierie & Conseils
Construction ManagementMP Conseil
Safety and Health Protection CoordinatorELYFEC
Accessibility assistance CAACCESSIBILITE & HANDICAP
Environmental assistance CAQUALICONSULT
NT Assistance CAAXXIP
Text description provided by the architects. The rehabilitation and extension of the city hall aims to connect three very different buildings: one dating back to the 19th century and two others dating back to the 1970s. By adding a new reception structure and by improving the thermal performance and visual aspect of building envelopes, this project creates a new image of the city hall, in addition to a modern, open vision of administrative services.
Creating a Landmark, Portraying an Image
The project’s different components all transmit a contemporary image of the city hall. The glass façades, stainless steel structure and mesh used for connecting elements have been designed as aspects of a new urban landmark that ensures the city is seen in a modern light.
This approach is supported by a visual communication strategy featuring dramatic lighting. Light-emitting diodes, which can be used in many different configurations, illuminate the glass façade, the stainless steel shell and the water feature.
The new public reception area is located in the lower level of the building so visitors can enjoy interactions on a more human scale. The idea is not to impress, but to welcome. However, this does not mean the architectural project cannot be distinctive or even unique, as befitting the representative nature of this kind of building.
To enhance the site’s different architectural entities, low volumes have been created to link existing buildings. A stainless steel mesh covers all connecting and transitional elements, and is used to protect the lower floor of the glass façade.
The structure suspended between the two 1970s buildings is not just a passageway. It is also a transitional zone where indoor and outdoor meeting rooms, rest areas, waiting rooms and loggias can easily be transformed for private or public use.
Developing Private Outdoor Areas
Small terraces are dotted around the buildings. In addition to being used by staff during breaks, they create openness and views to and from outdoor areas. The large terrace above the reception area – both mineral and vegetable – can be used for official ceremonies and weddings.
Highlighting Heritage Value
Today, the site is home to three buildings that were constructed using three completely different styles.
One of our priorities was to portray a single, coherent establishment, while respecting the heritage value of the 19th-century building.
Consequently, the two modern buildings were given new metal/glass skins featuring screen-printed façades and stainless steel mesh covering connecting and transitional elements.
The glass façade is set back from the historical façade. This respectful attitude to the older edifice also ensures direct sunlight is provided to all offices.
This approach highlights the autonomous nature of the new reception area, which is housed in an architectural structure that is stylistically different to all pre-existing buildings. Its curved shape and ethereal form absorbs and highlights the differences in surrounding buildings. It is another historical element in the existing composition and does not detract from the monumental nature of the adjacent building.