Bruther adds community centre to Paris neighbourhood
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Bruther slots curving community centre into crowded Paris neighbourhood

Designed to offer a "landmark" in an otherwise mundane part of Paris, this sport and culture centre by Bruther features a multi-layered facade that varies in transparency to suit the various activities it contains (+ slideshow).

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

The centre was developed by local studio Bruther to provide a wide range of public services for the community of the heavily populated and densely urbanised Saint-Blaise district, east of the city centre.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

The project comprises a vertically-stacked structure with a small footprint – helping to preserve one of the area's rare open spaces. The building also features a variety of materials, designed to differentiate it from the surrounding apartment blocks.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

"The project becomes a landmark in this dense neighbourhood," said the architects in a statement. "It saves ground – a real resource of the area – and is developed vertically while respecting the required and respectful distances with the surrounding buildings."

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

Lower storeys are enclosed by a glazed curtain wall that retains a visual connection between the street on one side and a courtyard on the other.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

This transparency also helps to maintain links between other public facilities situated around the plaza, including a nursery and school, as well as offering a welcoming view of the activities taking place inside.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

"The project becomes a link which establishes new perspectives and creates relationships between the different amenities of the neighbourhood by its location and materiality," the architects added.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

Above the double-height atrium are further windows and a cantilevered balcony that wraps around the building's edges, including the concave long elevations.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

The transparent cladding allows the concrete structure, with its diagonal bracing system, to be seen from outside.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

Black corrugated cladding surrounds the upper portion of a sports hall dedicated to circus arts, which is located on the top floor. A gauzy mesh above this level allows light to reach the glass vaulted ceiling to ensure a bright interior for the training studio.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

Folding doors set in the glazed facade open onto the large foyer, where a suspended ceiling is wrapped in mirrored panels so that it reflects the buildings outside.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

A freestanding plywood structure resides in this space. It features gable-shaped openings that create cosy rooms for informal meetings.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther

Materials throughout the interior are left in their raw state, with exposed concrete and plywood complemented by conical lighting, suspended from simple tubular metal fittings.

Photography is by Filip Dujardin.

Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther
Concept diagram – click for larger image
Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther
Site plan – click for larger image
Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther
Section one – click for larger image
Cultural and Sports Center by Bruther
Section two – click for larger image