Location: Antony, France
Type: Public – Sports
Architects: archi5 (www.archi5.fr) & Tecnova Architecture (www.tecnova-architecture.com)
Project description – Multisports complex with a middle school gymnasium, another for associations and citizens. Climbing wall, Martial arts dojo, boxing hall, multipurpose hall, offices. Landscaping. 100 places parking lot.
Environmental design : consumption < 65 kWh/m3/yr
Status of project / expected completion (if applicable) – Competition prize winner oct. 2012 – Ongoing studies – Completion July 2015
Image Credits: Luxigon for the renderings, archi5 for plans
The context is mixed with linear apartment blocks on one side and the park’s exceptional planted heritage on the other. It will be a new focal point for coming together, meeting and staging sport activities and other events.
The project includes a clearly-defined theme (nature) for individuals and for everyone. It is translated as much by form as function, visible in all aspects of the building and on all scales.
The building takes the area’s vocabulary into account and complements the urban develop- ment by injecting a new impulse to the setting. It becomes an attractive landmark for residents on a scale with the neighborhood.
The project uses mystery to sharpen curiosity and desire. It is in the choice of this mineral shape as a big multi-facetted monolith, i.e. a mysterious, precious stone planted in the landscape that contrasts yet harmonizes with the setting. This magnetic structure is framed by greenery like a gold nugget.
It is a landscape from which the urban signal of the climbing room emerges. The building is one with the green environment and stands out from the neighboring buildings. Here, nature is not expressed by plants, i.e. no plant cover that would have not fit the scale and pointless in the plant context of the venue. Its unusualness gives it its identity, its landmark status.
In this new landscape a central gap gives onto Bièvre Valley and clearly separates the two poles of the sport center, guaranteeing natural light in the gymnasiums and concourses. This gap is like a canyon, playing on the building’s scale. It is an invitation to solve the riddle of the precious rock and primes the subtle permeability between the interior with the exterior. It is the key to a clo- ser reading of the building that reveals its transparency as one approaches it.
The sport center is structured by a play of transparencies and visual vents, which fudge the borders between the
outside and the inside where surrounding nature is ever present. The openings are framed and highlight remar- kable elements on inside and out. The orientations are selected for the sporting activity.
The analogy with nature is not just a formal one. It is dee- ply grounded in the building’s structure by the choice of noble, integral materials which will only improve with time.
The skin is composed of a copper, aluminum and tin alloy. It will not rust, will keep its bronze color and will take on a more matted sheen with age.
With its play of facets the building is seen differently according to the sun’s position and the seasons. The glass walls turn the monolith into sparkling crystal in the light. At night it becomes a light source ema- nating from its facets.
The building’s interior harmonizes with its envelope through its unity and in the choice of natural, long- lasting materials. The inside wood-lined walls, and the cloth-hung ceilings that respects the volumes of the facets. The serenity required for serious spor- ting endeavor is enhanced by the natural lighting, the generosity of volumes and the atmosphere created by unadorned matter.
In order to differentiate routes, a partial mezzanine has been created for public use (visitors). It has been built as a balcony in the double-height volume and gives views of the various gymnasiums.
For both those who use it and its neighbors, the buil- ding provides surrounding buildings with a convivial landscape, like a hill. Environmentally aware, the management of rain-water is done naturally.
The building finds a balance between humility and strength, values that correspond to those of the athletes, by the choice of a tranquil grounded venue, sensitive to the nature that surrounds it. It speaks of nature’s power while it calls for simplicity and economy. Contemporary and timeless, poetic and pragmatic, this structure will inspire the imagi- nation of those who use it and those who look at it.