Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

• June 21, 2012

In the Île-de-France region, the new gymnasium at Chelles is an exceptional example of a public building with a strong architectural identity. The town council’s aim was that this local amenity should play a key role in the harmonious redefinition of the urban landscape. Located in the town centre, the project enhances the surrounding architectural heritage, composed of the Collège Weczerka, the Centre d’Art Contemporain “Les Églises” and the Town Hall. Respecting each edifice’s identity and acting as a link between them, it helps re-establish an aesthetic equilibrium. The reorganised esplanade was conceived as its natural extension and redefines its use as a pedestrian circulation area.

LAN ChellesGymnase 7 600x456 Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade, image courtesy LAN Architecture | Photo by Julien Lanoo

The gymnasium is an innovative example of the increasingly adoption of HEQ norms in the construction or refurbishment of public buildings.

The project is the culmination of the town council’s carefully thought-out plan to transform the site into an open public space. The double-skin façade, with glass on the outside and copper-covered wood panels on the inside, creates a strong architectural identity.

LAN ChellesGymnase 5 600x441 Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade, image courtesy LAN Architecture | Photo by Julien Lanoo

The paving of the esplanade, a combination of bush-hammered concrete and large plaques of Core-ten finish concrete, echoes the walls of the gymnasium. This so-called “contextual” architecture takes into account the dense and varied environment and dynamises the setting.

A 790 m2 FACADE

The glass facade amplifies perception of the surrounding space by reflecting the buildings around the square, not merely by mirroring them but by diffracting their image and creating a specific optical effect.

LAN ChellesGymnase 2 600x476 Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade, image courtesy LAN Architecture | Photo by Julien Lanoo

60% of the gymnasium’s total surface is covered with glass and copper. The interplay of light and shade conceals the building’s framework and gives it its mineral appearance, elegance and lightness.

The technical system used for the envelope is simple: a steel structure, glass façades with the lower walls in insulated concrete with copper cladding inside. This double skin ensures optimum acoustic insulation. The copper-covered wood panelling absorbs noise and reduces resonance in the large gymnasium space within.

LAN ChellesGymnase 3 600x548 Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade, image courtesy LAN Architecture | Photo by Julien Lanoo

A 2857 m2 ESPLANADE

The new esplanade was conceived as both a meeting place and a transit space, and develops the idea already sketched in by the architect Marc Barani for the Contemporary Art Centre. The subtle chequerboard arrangement of large bush-hammered and Cor-ten finish concrete slabs gives the square another dimension and highlights the entrances to the Town Hall and college. As a natural extension of the gymnasium, the esplanade reinforces the overall impression of harmony.

LAN ChellesGymnase 6 600x404 Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade, image courtesy LAN Architecture | Photo by Julien Lanoo

AN ENERGY-SAVING AND PRUCING BUILDING

One of this project’s keynotes is its energy-efficient conception.

THERMAL INSULATION

Built to Very High energy Performance (VHEP) standards, the building provides a high level of user comfort. Its insulated concrete walls help cooling in summer and limit heat loss in winter. Each room also has a nocturnal double-flux ventilation system that recovers energy from the air extracted. The façades are glazed with 2.28 m2, 44.2 “securit” panes on the outside and 8mm tempered glass on the inside, with a 14 mm anti-heat Argon gas infill.

HEATING

The building is connected to the town’s geothermal heating system, with a programme that heats spaces before use. The heat circulation generates the hot water and heating of the gymnasium, its annexe, changing rooms and circulation spaces.

LAN Chelles FACADES 600x438 Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade \ LAN Architecture

Gymnasium and Town Hall Esplanade, drawing courtesy LAN Architecture

ELECTRICITY

The gymnasium is equipped with 32 photovoltaic panels with a total power of 7360 Watts, generating 6600 VA to be sold back to the national grid.

WATER MANAGEMENT

The rainwater recovery system, functioning with the green roof, supplies the gymnasium’s toilets and washing facilities and provides water for its surrounding planted areas.

LIGHTING

The infrastructure is lit naturally by large windows in the curtain wall and roof. At night, the building’s exterior is lit by LED projectors set into the ground.

The entrances are indicated by candelabra. Inside, presence detectors optimise electricity management everywhere except the gymnasium space itself.

+ Project facts

Project: Gymnasium and redesign of the Town Hall square
Location: Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Chelles (77), France
Timetable: 2007-2011
Competition: January 2008
Delivery: January 2012
Project manager: Chelles Town Council
Budget: 3.85M € excl. VAT
PROJECT AREA: 2200 m²

TEAM:
LAN Architecture (architects)
BETEM (contractor)
Isabelle Hurpy (HEQ engineering consultant)

+ All images and drawings courtesy LAN Architecture

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Category: Architecture, Civic, Sport

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