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Dominique Coulon & Associés : Centre sportif des Droits de l'Homme

There will be sport! Delivered last December by the architects of the agency Dominique Coulon & Associés, the sports center of the Rights of the Homme offers young athletes from the European School of Strasbourg (67) a playground unlike any other: a glass and concrete box that gives him the urge to wet his t-shirt ...

Created in 2008, the European School of Strasbourg aims to prepare its students - mostly children of European Community institutions - at the European Baccalaureate. It is only in 2015 that it inaugurates its final premises, designed by the studio DRLW, after being sheltered for seven years by temporary structures. Yet despite the architectural interest of the achievement - and its consequent budget! - his program had a definite gap: the lack of sports equipment worthy of the name. A lack quickly corrected with the 2012 late launch of a contest by the city of Strasbourg, won by the agency Dominique Coulon & Associates.

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Delivered last December, and located a few minutes walk from the school on a relatively wooded ground, the building hosts a gymnasium, a multipurpose room, and the technical parts inherent to these typologies, that is to say cloakrooms, storage spaces and housing function, in a concrete and glass box with prominent lines. The building "extends the logic of fragments already implemented" in the existing, justify its designers. Thus, the multisport hall and its versatile neighbor are housed in two separate volumes, double-height parallelepipeds encircled by the locker rooms and connected by walk-in corridors consisting of two concrete strips extended by curtain walls. "The hall is transparent: it shows the wood at the back of the plot from the forecourt," specify the contractors.

Oriented north and south, the gymnasium is also partially glazed, but especially equipped with large translucent polycarbonate walls, allowing "to bring and diffuse a soft and homogeneous light" in the entire volume; a good way not to dazzle the budding sportsmen, avoiding them to shoot themselves in the head! For acoustic reasons, the walls are clad with perforated and gray-tinted midrange panels, which blend well with the shades of concrete, linoleum and ceiling protected by black metal grating. The multipurpose room, finally, offers a completely different universe, thanks to its varnished oak flooring laid in checkerboard that turns on the walls up to man's height. Above, a dark green paint "enhances the warmth of the oak tree", making this space a good place for both professional and recreational dance.

Offering a rendering sometimes "milky and rigorous", sometimes "transparent and reflective" depending on the times of the day, this sports center of Human Rights completely changes the prospect of a basketball game. Ready to score some baskets?

The project is selected for the 2019 ADC Awards in the Sport category.

To learn more, visit the ADC Awards website that Dominique Coulon & Associés.

Photographs: Eugeni Pons and David Romero-Uzeda

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