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Anthony, Paris, France 
Friday 13 Jul 2012
 
A mysterious big black box 
 
Thomas Jorion 
 
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Archi5 creates a sports facility contained in a matte black box in the French capital 


By taking surrounding public spaces into consideration when designing the project, Archi5 reinforced the notion that this building is a public facility, a landmark within the surrounding disorder. The project's design and planning is based upon a thorough understanding of the local context, responding to existing scales. Its location and architecture denote the space´s public nature and inject new life into the site.

So as to allude to a mind's eye view the architects asked focused on drawing attention to the building without stirring up too much controversy. A key aim was to spark off people's curiosity and a thirst for mystery: a child's fascination to know what is inside a big box. This is what led to design of a huge, sombre monolith, a break from local architecture, with rows of pink houses or over complex public buildings.

Curiosity is satisfied once the used discovers the entrance on a raised corner. The design makes passer-bys see something different to what the residents see through an interplay between different elements; the roof garden offering an alternative landscape - a hanging square. On the inside, the surfaces adapt and follow the height of the different sports areas. This creates a dynamic between the different components of the project. The monolith is deconstructed by the variety of stones used to clad the façade and the way these are pieced together, like a construction set. The building changes depending on the angle from which you look at it, the time of day, the light or the season.

This single structure houses the main functions of the programme: fencing/table tennis hall, dance hall, combat areas and other activities. The building's compact nature is its greatest environmental asset. Natural light floods in, in spite of the solid façades. Vertical window panels allow light to be controlled and adapted to the needs of the sport being practiced. Archi5 designed this facility to be simple, powerful and almost timeless.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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archi5
www.archi5.fr

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