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Graal, rosa Beton, Frankreich

A Pink Wave: Community Centre by Graal

The neighbourhood is home to many period buildings, single-family dwellings, a church and the school to which the Jean Jaurès Community Centre belongs. With their design, the architects from the Parisian Graal studio wish to mediate between the various urban scales in the district. The plot of land lies in a depression between the Seine and the Orge, while a large area for railway tracks is located to the east. The façade of curvy, pink-coloured concrete elements was inspired by the river and lies around the single-storey building like a protective skin. The lamellae interlock to form a rhythmic overall image. A plinth around 1 m in height protects the structure, which measures 610 m2, from flooding; it also prevents passers-by from looking into the day-care spaces. This made it possible to provide each room with a large window providing sufficient ventilation and plenty of daylight.

Visitors enter the centre via a ramp that winds its way around the plinth. The lobby functions as a distribution and reception area for parents collecting their children. On the right, the 157-m2 multipurpose room joins onto the lobby, rising above it to a height of 4.70 m. As it occupies the entire depth of the building and offers a view of the railway tracks in one direction and the schoolyard in the other, the architects see this space as the mediator. Two of the group rooms also have higher ceilings, which stand out from the planted roofscape and the façade. Thanks to this topography, the church steeple still peeks out from behind the building.

With a view to fuss-free maintenance, the interior has been kept as simple as possible. Even indoors, large-format windows provide views into the workshops. Their broad wooden frames contrast with the pale grey of the walls and the poured flooring. Altogether, these features make the Jean-Jaurès Community Centre by Graal an ideal place for creative romping in the children’s free time.

Further information:

statics: Astuce béton
Electrical engineering: Sunsquare
Budget: 2 Mio. €
Compleation: October 2019

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