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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!

It has come time for the transformation for this interstitial zone of the center of Calais: neither entirely industrial - the port is only at a bridge crossing - nor quite tertiary - with notably the premises of the CPAM - and not quite residential - the neighboring homes are located mostly on the other side, in the former town of St. Pierre which is now an integral part of the Agglomeration. A hybrid identity, consequence of the association of several villages that form the Calais of today; "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 from the city: the belfry, the belfry of Notre-Dame church and the lighthouse. A site of choice therefore, perfect to federate the population around his 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.

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The building owners therefore had to create a federating building between neighborhoods but also between the center and the basin arranged 2,5 meters lower. From the difference in altimetry, they benefit from the superposition of uses that allows them to develop a spatial compactness - and with, the economy of cost of construction and exploitation inherent. It also allows the creation of a low place and two high: the car park planned for 200 cars to the west, and two squares to the east to the neighboring residential area and north, with the entrance, to 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.

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Side expression? The shape of the building simply stems from the program: a basketball hall homologated by the French Federation (level H3) of 1 000 fixed and 500 telescopic seats, with clubhouse. In this way, the asymmetrical steps - at 37 and 45 degrees - in site-poured concrete constitute the structure of the building at the same time as they serve to support hyperboloid hyperbolic steel tensile steel roofing, a complex term simply designating the relief of a potato chip or saddle. The underside of the stands houses the ticket office, hall, offices and locker rooms for players and referees. These two hulls are surrounded by angled glass facades - the highest point of which culminates at 12,6 meters - and opaque in the middle to camouflage the networks behind white steel bins, color referring to the seaside houses and the antirust paint which is coated.

A building like a static diagram, so. The 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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