A makeover for the Albert Schweitzer Community Centre in Dammarie-les-LysThe town of Dammarie-les-Lys (Seine-et-Marne) is organized around three main interlinking spaces: the Lys plain, the historic town center and the park surrounding the Abbey. The Albert Schweitzer community center is located in the heart of the Lys plain, in a neighborhood made up of several thousand housing units built in the 1970s and known, at the time, as an «urban center». Built at the foot of two of the highest tower blocks, in front of the 8th May 1945 square, the facility is the centerpiece of the neighborhood and plays a vital urban and landscaping rôle within it. However, despite being an important community space and a defining element of the townscape, it was never perceived as inviting public space. The facades, concealed behind unkempt vegetation and metal trellised paneling which significantly reduced any incoming light to the building, were closed off and not visible from public space. The challenge of refurbishing/expanding the Albert Schweitzer community center, as well as dealing with its immediate surroundings, was to provide the neighborhood with a dynamic image of its own renewal.
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