Bureau FaceB : Salle Quai de la Moselle

In Calais, on the Quai de la Moselle, at the junction of three districts, and at the interface of the center and the port, Bureau FaceB delivers a basketball room for the resident team of the city and colleges from around. A building-patella that prefigures the renewal of an entire area. The time of the change of face rang for this neglected part of the agglomeration!

The time has come for transformation for this interstitial zone in the center of Calais: neither entirely industrial - the port is only a bridge crossing - nor completely tertiary - with in particular the premises of the CPAM -, and not entirely residential - the neighboring dwellings are located for the most part on the other side, in the former municipality of Saint-Pierre which is today an integral part of the Agglomeration. A hybrid identity, the result of the association of several towns that make up today's Calais; "Sewing never took", summarize the architects. However, the triangular plot of one hectare on which the new equipment is located is far from anecdotal and has in its line of sight not less than three of the four emblems of the skyline of the city: the belfry, the bell tower of the Notre-Dame church and the lighthouse. A site of choice therefore, perfect to unite the population around its basketball team and embody the renewal of the adjoining port area: "The first act of the reconquest of Calais on its industrial basins", summarize the designers.


The contracting authorities therefore had to create a unifying building between districts but also between the center and the basin located 2,5 meters below. From the difference in altimetry, they take advantage by the superposition of uses which allows them to develop spatial compactness - and with the inherent saving in construction and operating costs. It also allows the creation of a low square and two upper ones: the parking lot planned for 200 cars to the west, and two squares to the east towards the neighboring residential area and to the north, with the entrance, towards the sea. "We wanted to address the site at 360 degrees"sum up the project managers. To avoid turning their backs on any of the surrounding entities, they opted for a hexagonal shaped volume offering multiple visual breakthroughs, and to further strengthen the coherence between the project and its surroundings, proposed to the contracting authority , the Town Hall of Calais, to draw the landscaped approaches, which was not initially planned in the specifications. An achievement whose scope goes well beyond its walls.


On the expression side? The shape of the building follows quite simply from the program: a basketball hall approved by the French Federation (level H3) with 1 fixed seats and 000 telescopic seats, with a clubhouse. In this way, the dissymmetrical steps - at 500 and 37 degrees - in concrete cast on site constitute the structure of the building at the same time that they serve as a support for the steel roof in tension of hyperboloid form, a complex term. simply designating the relief of a crisps or a saddle. The underside of the stands houses the ticket office, hall, offices and changing rooms for players and referees. These two hulls are surrounded by angled glazed facades - the highest point of which rises to 45 meters -, and opaque in the middle to camouflage the networks behind white steel tubs, a color referring to seaside houses and to the anti-rust paint with which they are coated.

A building like a static diagram, then. Structural, programmatic and material truth, nothing but the truth!

To learn more, visit the website of Office FaceB

Photographs: Maxime Delvaux

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