OLGGA Architectes et Atelier CAMBIUM : Plaine des sports

Seven years after its launch, and many negotiations, the town of Saint-Paul-lès-Dax (40) inaugurated last September, the Plain Sports, a huge sports complex of 20 hectares. Nestled in the heart of the Landes forest, the project led by the agency OLGGA Architects, associated with Atelier CAMBIUM, integrates environmental issues and landscaping with brilliance.

In 2011, the growth of the local population and the requisition of two former football fields for the construction of a college have led the Municipality to a conclusion: the need to build a large sports complex, which can gather many activities . A seemingly simple initiative, which has in fact been fraught with difficulties, especially in the search for a location around the town, because of the presence of protected species - such as the Fadet of sedges (a butterfly) or the 'Common Nighthawk (a rare bird) - in the many surrounding wetlands.

Following a series of environmental analyzes on the local fauna and flora, the choice of the main contractors focused on a longitudinal plot, north-west of the city, bordering a departmental road and accessible from a path pedestrian walk through the forest leading to Lake Christus, a place of pleasure appreciated by locals.


In order to damage the site as little as possible, the architects imagined a dense project. Four rugby and football fields, including an athletics track and children's play areas, take place in a row and in successive stages - thus catching up with the natural declivity of the site.

This stretch of grass is punctuated by two buildings. To the west, a first semi-underground two-storey building, which houses cloakrooms on the ground floor and upstairs reception areas, dominates the vast outdoor training area. Its huge cantilevered roof protects the entrance of the spectators on one side and the 500 seats on the other facing the grounds. In the center of the playgrounds, a second walk-in structure houses additional cloakrooms and technical rooms for storage and maintenance.

A simple and basic realization, fulfilling perfectly its main objective: to offer players a place of fulfillment.

To learn more, visit the OLGGA Architects website et CAMBIUM Workshop

Photographs: Stephane Aboudaram

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