Site and surroundingsOn the north bank of the river Tarn, 400m as the crow flies from Albi’s celebrated Cathedral of Saint Cecilia, Pratgraussals sits in a bend on the river on the site of a former quarry, latterly appreciated for leisure and nature. For the new community centre, we have proposed a building that responds to the landscape, and whose morphology allows for a variety of possible future uses. The distant spire of Saint Cecilia’s Cathedral calls for a building of great simplicity, laid out horizontally, its gallery reinforcing its pedestrian links. The powerful presence of the project characterises the site, but its architecture creates the illusion of having always been there. The sloping roofs indicate the centre, over the main events hall, and the two extremities at the south and north correspond respectively to the main entrance and the artists’ entrance. The peripheral walkway becomes a suspended canopy, indicating the entrance. The simplicity of the volumes and combination of materials offers a double scale: a domestic scale, with particular reference to agricultural buildings, and the scale of a public building open to all.
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