Center of Technical Services

Center of Technical Services in La Grande Motte, France by N+B Architectes

Text and images are courtesy Elodie Nourrigat and Jacques Brion of N+B Architectes.

La Grande Motte city, situated at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, benefits from a soft and moderate climate. The project for new offices for the city's center of technical services takes place in a widely forested ground. It is a remarkable environment, thanks to the surrounding natural elements. So the project testifies to a profound respect for nature while offering a new determinedly contemporary image. The landscape and architectural project presents a strong unity, stemming from the qualities of the place, to compose spaces where the environmental quality will be a vector of development.

Our will is double: think of a functional project and set up a place of life in agreement with the Mediterranean climate. This has to take place as simply as possible, with humility and efficiency. We thus propose simple volumes for the whole building, with sober and pure lines to assert its insertion in the site. It is conceived as a topographic line, drawn by a unique material (wood), offering it a spatial but also a visual unity. It is under this landscape line established by a flat roof that the entities of the program take place. It was thought to emphasize the surrounding landscape while identifying and protecting exploitable outer spaces.

The project proposes a stake in retreat of the glazed facades and the implementation of wooden canopies connecting the high and low entities of the fold. This device creates a thick fa├žade for sun protection, while taking advantage of a direct connection between the inside and the outside thanks to wide openings. The device also allows a spatial and visual continuity while answering the Mediterranean climatic constraints. The project is built entirely of wood. It is an environmental choice which we made by working with local essences of pines, but also in order to assure a technical, constructive and functional simplicity.

We are aware that in this place, in the heart of a wooded space but also in an urban zone, the notion of old perpetuity is a real stake of construction. The reflection we wish to set up is qualitative. We answer it through the implementation of long-lasting materials, the conception of the building and its arrangements, and by allowing a cost-cutting of maintenance for the project owner and the users. Thinking of a sustainable development requires naturally taking into account the quality of materials, to make a technical work on the energies uses, but also to set up a logical space. It is in the sense that we undertook this project. We propose coherence to the site thanks to a new spatial scenography and the development of the existing heritage.