Arcing Mediatheque by du Besset Lyon architectes responds effectively to tight site
This recently-completed Mediatheque by Parisian practice du Besset-Lyon Architectes is a rolling curve of camel-coloured concrete in a caged site. On three sides the Mediatheque - which incorporates a public library and a cinema - is bordered by strong architectural expressions: a historic church; the Hotel de Balay; and the local prison.
In order to overcome the challenges set by this difficult site, the architects proposed a curved structure constructed out of concrete to fall in line with the mineral materials which define the three aforementioned buildings. The team were also keen to shy away from outlandish architectural expressions and instead created a smoothly-lined, simple volume that speaks to the hotel, church and prison.
du Besset-Lyon Architectes details: “It draws its strength and its strangeness owing to the fact that it maintains an active relationship with its neighbours. Thus, the curvature of its southern façade addresses a direct response to the large slope of the slate covered roof of the church; the curve of its plan constitutes a natural connection between the street of Cordeliers, the new central place the back of the church.”
Uncomplicated in its silhouette, the Mediatheque is defined by its hexagonal windows which are arranged in clusters across the facades, drawing natural light into the 3,500 sq m of internal space. From the uppermost of the three above-ground storeys, these angular window panes allow the building’s users to gaze across the town with uninterrupted views. There is also a basement floor which hosts the film screening rooms.