Renovation and extension of the City of Romainville’s Events Hall in Paris

Miralles Tagliabue EMBT together with Paris based architecture studio Ilimelgo, have been announced as winners of a two-stage restricted competition for the renovation and extension of the events hall at the City of Romainville in Paris, France.

This competition organized by the Municipality of Romainville, aims to diversify the set of activities provided to its inhabitants and equip the town with a contemporary, flexible space. With an innovative spatial response to the brief and conversion of the building and its exterior surroundings into a vibrant social environment, EMBT + Ilimelgo, were chosen to helm the project. Start of construction is planned for 2018.

City of Romainville’s Events Hall
The project we are proposing is the result of our reflection on the challenges of the program, the urbanism of the town of Romanville but also on improving the quality of life and imagining a positive impact this new equipment can contribute to the future of the neighbourhood.

We focused on the context and the relation that the new event and modular halls could establish with the foyer, the avenue Paul Valliant Courtier, and the garden with its view to the former quarries.

General approach and urban impact
From an urban point of view our proposal focuses on two main strategies:
• Renovating the front façade of the building, creating more transparency, and offering a view to the garden.
• Creating a dialogue between the extension of the building and the pedestrian path leading to the back of the site and the children’s playground.

By means of a historical study of the site, we came up with the conclusion that the existing event hall should be more visible and more easily appropriated by the town’s residents. Such a public establishment would require a generous and visible entry.

Furthermore, the program includes a playground which should be accessible to everyone. Therefore, the main building should create a direct passage to the playground in the back of the plot.

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The aim of this idea is to change the nature of the current building called ‘salle des fêtes’into an entrance space, creating a dialogue between the street as a public space, the semi-public garden and the more private space of the halls and work areas. This is achieved by the permeability of the main façade, allowing glimpses of the garden and the landscape of the ancient quarries.

Relieved of its current use, the previous ‘salle des fêtes’ changes its programme and transforms into an extension of the public space, becoming a place of meeting as well as a threshold space. The transparent façade creates a visual connection to the garden in the back. Half of the building serves now as an open air transitional space to the playground in the back, while the other houses the foyer of the new event hall.

The extension side of the project constitutes of the event room and the modular room. Its aim is to focus on the relation between these new elements, the garden and the landscape, as we identified the latter as the most important asset this site has to offer.

The extension also comprises a prolongation of the east wing of the building. This new volume will be placed at the east edge of the plot and houses the offices and logistic spaces necessary for the functioning of the two halls. As these two halls are placed in the centre of the garden, the west side remains an open-air landscape. Furthermore, this arrangement establishes a visual connection to the playground of the Anatole France School, which makes the garden look even more ample.

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The path between the Paul Vaillant Couturier Avenue and the playground at the end of the plot is the leading thread throughout the project. A walk through the landscape of the garden crosses a variety of slopes and ramps following the natural layout of the terrain, as well as the different inclinations of the facades.

To maximize the use of the outdoor space, a small plaza has been placed between the modular hall and the event hall, which allows for some events to take place outside.

Finally, the playground has been placed on a slanted topography to the west of the site, towards the elementary school, and on the paved area north-west, thus creating a complex small-scale landscape.

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