a contemporary style in late 19th century architecture

"Nominated for the ADC AWARDS 2014"

The spirit of the past


Our architectural language is in line with the architectural movement of the late 19th century, inspired by the styles of the past centuries and in which the former Savings Bank.

The challenge was to take advantage of the existing architecture by adapting it to the needs and uses.


For this, we have reflected and developed different axes:

- The light, dark interior atmosphere, with a filtration of the colored outdoor light recalls the spirit of the stained glasses in the old buildings.

- The passages, junctions between the reading room and the animation room, voluntarily narrow evoke "the passage" and accentuate the effect of "large volume" of the various adjacent rooms.

- The large room with this beautiful geometry, this perfect square which, once open-minded, lets the look of the four corners of space, with a floor composed of geometric shapes used to identify the different spaces of this media library.

- The metal frame and its tripod lights, culminating point of this project:

Here, our desire was to highlight this industrial structure which at the base was of a rather "ordinary" manufacture by adding two large tripod lights and give the impression that the whole is an integral part of the building so that finally it becomes the strong element of the project. It also evokes the metal constructions of the second part of the 19th century Napoleon style "iron architecture".

- The window sills made of perforated sheet metal channel the external light as well as the stone walls of the medieval buildings.

- The large bench refers to the famous Napoleon 3 style sofas, the confidants and indiscreet who allowed to maintain a conversation between 2.3 people or more, without having to turn the head.

- and, the banks of receptions, luminous signals in the space, markers thanks to their "fluid" forms. They depict the environment by their voluntarily imposing proportions. A graphic and «ideographic» writing that became our reference object ...


All this is an evocation of style that we think, allows us to sit down and link a contemporary construction to the richness of our history.


Signage. (Conception: Gabriel Calladine.)