"A village around a place"
The Community of Communes of the Valley of Hérault designed by N+B Architectes is inspired by the concept of a village around a place. It is conceived like a whole of houses ordered around a central garden.
The new buildings however do not reproduce the picturesque surrounding houses; on the other hand, they are fixed according to the same volumetric logic which allows a better insertion. The cut-out of the various programmatic entities is simple and of modest size answering to the homogeneity of the surrounding landscape. Each batch has an independent access thus onto the garden. This distribution confers on each one autonomy and identity. In addition, they are served to the back by a roadway system with single direction presenting 2 entrances.
A particular care is taken concerning the setting of the built entities. The principal buildings are directed to the North-South in order to offer a natural ventilation, bringing in during the summer a real comfort. This establishment had two objectives. It aimed at protecting against the wind of North and this fact of sheltering the central garden, becoming a true place of appropriation and conviviality. In the second place, it aimed at releasing and maintaining views on the Tower of Gignac, the Pic Saint Baudille and the low valley of Hérault. Thus in the axis of the central garden is to be found the convent of the church Nôtre-Dame de Grâce.
Only the building of the community of the communes positions itself perpendicularly to the rest of built masses. Thanks to this establishment, it marks the facade of the city and the access to the site closing again and protecting the interior garden. On the ground floor it is largely opened and directs the tourist bureau and the reception hall. This establishment design enables it to answer as well to a climatic comfort as to a respect of the surrounding heritage.