Location: Creil, France
Areas: Social Center 1 110 m² – Commercial Center 780 m²
Architects: NOMADE Architects
Photographs: Mathieu Ducros
The George Brassens Social center, located on the Plateau-Rouher on Creil, is known as an inevitable place, a rampart against difficulties and a fundamental presence in this sensitive region. The new social center of Creil City has been inaugurated in the end of April 2015, executed by NOMADE architects agency, as a fundamental corner stone of urban renovation project which gives a new look to the Plateau Roucher.
The challenge of urban renovation
Over the last decade, Creil City in partnership with Creil Metropolitan and Urban Renovation National Agency, lead the urban renovation strategy of Rouher region. This area, located on the left shore of Oise, on the plateau overhanging the city, is typically a great set of constructions of 1960’s, made by orthogonal bars and towers.
It is in this circumstances that, in 2010, the Creil City has started two contracts of the demolition – reconstruction of the Dunant commercial center and the George Brassens Social center. The aim is to encourage the renewal and diversification of housing and urban functions, in order to open up the neighborhood area and its residents. The reinforcement of the commercial attraction, the requalification of urban developments and landscapes, as well as the modernization of the social center should generate a new motive structuring centrality for the whole region.
A bi-cephalous contextualized project
NOMADE architects has developed a contextualized project as an opened urban interface to its environment which is connected actively to the re-qualified public space of a fraternity esplanade. The company’s approach is focused on respecting the desire of the project owner, also to know and to carry out a new neuralgic center from the whole project, as a place to meet and to gather, participating to appreciate the image of the neighborhood area.
The project is composed of two buildings, separated by a walkway service: this organization not only promotes a clear identification of two infrastructures but also defines an autonomous operation for each of them.
The commercial center occupies a pivotal position as a bridge head of re-qualified esplanade. The social center being along with the commercial center, animates the boulevard. The two buildings expand into an “L” shape, in a manner to consolidate an urban façade on the walkway, by releasing a heart block, more intimate for a private use. Their architectural interchange generates an urban unity and a consistency which reinforces their legibility. Their “R+1” form template guarantees their harmonic insertion in an urban approach by the transition between bars and small collectives.
A slight, peaceful and qualitative architecture
The architectural part developed by NOMADE architects is based on two mirror buildings, low and very open, releasing a serenity sentiment and offering a quality which defines the new identity of the neighborhood area.
The colors and materials, such as the concrete structure and the white varnished stamped facades, have been also selected for their quality and durability. This quality has been identified by using a wooden cladding template with a fresh and light milky varnished white color.
The main architectural goal of two buildings has been coordinated to save the coherence of the whole project.
The two buildings are open generously to their environment.
The social center is characterized by its transparency, generated by using the projecting curtain walls brightened by the anodized aluminum carpentry. The alternation of frosted glass and transparency generates the rhythm of the facade. On the carpentries, the pattern is highlighted by the implementation of fixed perforated aluminum panels, with both esthetically and technically properties: they qualitatively replace the use of guardrails to ventilate the locals and lighten the facade. They create a set of metallic reflections, a vibration, that enhance the evanescence of the building. By changing the distance and the movement, according to the time, the delicate perforation of the aluminum panels fortifies the architectural perception. The aluminum coping crowns the building with shine and lightness. The entrance is particularly mentioned be a curtain wall in all height.
Regards to the commercial center, it is labeled by the implementation of the slide panels on the facade bars. This is also a combined esthetic and technic system which offers a quantitative alternative, perpetual and functional, for using the commercial rolling shutters.
In coherency with the architectural script of the social center, a curtain wall hooks on facade from viewpoint of internal place, in a dynamical conversation with the social center. The slightly distorted linear of the facade on the walkway creates a public place operating as an urban appeal.