A careful reading of the Cultural Center leads to a threefold intervention.
- Laying the existing structure bare to reveal the its material and spatial qualities
- Reorganising the places and uses to optimise connexions between levels
- Wrapping the building in an isolated and translucent skin to improve energy performances
To reveal the qualities of the existing, different interventions are planned. The walled up windows are reopened to reveal the original concrete fenestration. The existing row of seats and lightweight partitions are removed in order to make room for a new generous auditorium. Specific elements are kept with great care, underlining their precious aspect within the rough structure of the building. The Cultural Center enjoy multiple access and varied relations to public space around it. The interior spaces are rearranged on the three level of the building and guide the visitor. The new auditorium is set in the volume freed by demolitions and articulate with the foyer through a promenade stair. The foyer is reopened onto the garden and the public park. The exhibition room is set in line with the foyer, along the new auditorium and opens onto the courtyard on street side. The loges and studios are situated on first floor and have front and rear view to the vast terrace set on the top of the foyer. In order to obtain a “very low energy” building while offering comfort for users, the building is isolated from outside and wrapped in a translucent skin. This envelope delineates the project, frames the original concrete fenestration and creates different kind of relations to the immediate environment. This façade system does not use classical façade materiel but molded structural roof decking. Usually not seen, this element is diverted from its original use because of its qualities: bearing capacity due to the depth of the wave, light weight due to the perforation rate and low cost. More than just an answer to an energy expectation, this permeable and luminous envelope strengthen the openness of the Cultural Center becoming again a landmark in the neighbourhood.