Cultural Centre in Nevers by Ateliers O-S Architectes

Bleachers climb over the roof of this timber-clad community centre in France by Ateliers O-S Architectes (+ slideshow).

Cultural Center in Nevers

Located in the town of Nevers, central France, the two-storey centre was designed by Ateliers O-S Architectes with tiny square windows and a courtyard at its centre.

Cultural Center in Nevers

The architects conceived the bleachers at the front of the building as a tiered public square that can be used for events, games, or simply as a picnicking spot for local residents, "like an agora overlooking the neighbourhood," they explain, referencing the ancient Greek name for an assembly place.

Cultural Center in Nevers

"The strategic position of the cultural centre and the program led us to design a compact and generous project, as an extension of the public space enhancing the identity and image of the neighbourhood," they added.

Cultural Center in Nevers

Visitors to the building enter through a double-height atrium, which leads through to a 220-seat auditorium on the ground floor.

Cultural Center in Nevers

Other facilites on this floor include a creche and a series of event rooms, while a dance hall and meeting rooms occupy the first floor.

Cultural Centre in Nevers

Glazed walls surround the central courtyard on two sides to bring natural light into the ground floor corridors, while a private first-floor balcony overlooks the space from above.

Cultural Center in Nevers

Behind the timber cladding, the building has walls of concrete but the architects concealed them to "create a friendly environment".

Cultural Center in Nevers

Other projects we've featured with public spaces on the roof include Snøhetta's opera house in Oslo, as well as 3XN's recently completed cultural centre in Molde.

Cultural Center in Nevers

See more community centres on Dezeen, including one that looks like a meteorite.

Cultural Center in Nevers

Photography is by Cecile Septet.

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: ground floor plan - click above for larger image

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: site plan - click above for larger image

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: concept diagram 1

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: concept diagram 2

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: concept diagram 3

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: concept diagram 4

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: concept diagram 5

Cultural Center in Nevers

Above: concept diagram 6