Cultural center in St Berthevin, France

The cultural center, which will welcome a library, an auditorium and the extension of the dance and musical school, found naturally his location in the living heart of Saint Berthevin just by the Norman church.

The very generous program is lay out in a two storey building with simples volumes added in order to fiddle with a very delicate game of volume with the public square and the church. The aim is to enlight the forecourt of both building to structure the main square on the town. Higher volumes are set back as a courtesy to the Norman church. The brand new living cultural center is design to become a shelter for the social and cultural life of the town. The lower volume and the “see throw” entrance are an answer to both the public square and the scale of the surrounding.

A constrain level of transparency are playing with the visitor, whom can enjoy a very unique site towards the landscape and Norman architecture details form the inside. A “clair-obscur” where lightness and darkness, transparency and opacity, emptiness and solidness are switching accordingly towards directs surroundings. The pragmatic lay out is design to assure comfort, security and the best working environment for both visitors and employees. The aim is to ease dialogue, cultural exchange and group activities.

A generous lobby centralizes the distribution of all the programmatic entities of the cultural center. The library, musical & dance school, and the auditorium are collaborating to generate a living and dynamic cultural meeting point, where professional and non-professional can exchange. The library is directly communicating with the main square and the street. The two storeys unit is composed by an open and free square plan delimitated by furniture to let the view and natural light going throw the library. The large façade assures readers the comfort and the pleasure of natural lights.

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Due to his nocturnal activities, the brand new auditorium has an independent entrance. Flexibility and polyvalence is a key element for the cultural center. It allows both library and the school to use the auditorium during day time. The 300 seats stand can be easily remove to free the space via a mechanical stand. The dance and musical school is organize around a patio which brings natural lights inside the building and generate a central and radiant design.

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