Discretely nestled beneath the backdrop of the French Alps lies an eco-friendly, youth orientated community arts centre. Built into the earth and concealed by a seamless green roof design, the building sinks into the landscape and serves to preserve the breathtaking views of the Saint Egrève mountain-scape.

Bordering both l’Aiguille de Quaix and col de la Charmette mountains, the architects at French design firm MAS Architecture were intent that their designs maximise views from within the community centre, whilst simultaneously remaining discreetly positioned so as not to interrupt the pre-existing views.

By the same token, there are two opposing facades of the building. While the façade facing the street cuts seamlessly into the earth’s grassy landscape, a contrastingly bolder façade of colourful striations and rectangular windows in varying sizes rises from the ground on the other side of the building.

The colourful, undulating structure forms a loose ‘c’ shape and is comprised of two wings; the first for work and the second for recreation. The two wings meet in the centre by way of a large reception hall which opens out to a courtyard.

In compliance with France’s Batiment basse consommation (BBC) energy efficiency standards, the building was built with locally sourced materials such as concrete. Furthermore the dense green roof vegetation reaches a depth of nearly 10ft, the rainwater is filtered from the outside and recycled onsite in the bathrooms and the indoor air is treated with a balanced ventilation system.

This community centre perfectly balances a modern, sustainable design with respect for antiquity and the tranquillity of the surrounding environment.




About Holly Cunneen: ODS Contributor
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