MAO : Centre socio-culturel Albert Schweitzer

To bring back the readers, and to offer a sustainable and living home to associations in a neglected urban pole, a challenge? Yet this is the example of space Albert Schweitzer, recently renovated by the agency MAO. With 1 000 new registrations, the media library is part of the socio-cultural center of Dammarie-les-Lys (77), which restores its acclaim to culture.

Located at the foot of two residential towers, a building of about 6 000 square meters of the 1990 years brings together the association house, the media library and the medical-psychological center of the city. The center was formerly darkened by a prefabricated concrete facade, very walled, and suffered, for years, contempt and abuse. This is why the architects of the Mobile Architectural Office (MAO), a Paris office of architecture founded by Fabien Brissaud in 2010, propose for the renovation project an open curtain wall, which reactivates a healthy communication between the essential building and in its surroundings. Winners of the call for projects organized by the city, the three architects and the landscaper of the agency present honest solutions, imbued with the place.


By accentuating the contours of the building, with a horizon enhanced by the newly designed square, and a headline highlighted by a U-shaped sheet metal profile, the complex finally dissociates from the two adjacent residential towers.
From the outside, the stairs and access ramps leading to the three new entrances are cleared by a concrete forecourt, a lawn and a vegetable filter. The lacquered glass and brushed stainless steel front acts as an insulating skin that unfolds around the building, toned by the presence of profiled 25 fins wide centimeters and rust-like trim panels.

The architects respect the initial structure but simplify its periphery. They offer a glass facade that responds with its shifts and shadows, the need for privacy and light exposure. It acts as a deterrent, which prevents potential damage. The interiors are cleaned and, during the process, the cuttings are recycled. The destroyed parts produce a resource used to backfill the garden, the urban market gardening space and the life annuity, which now benefit the users of the associations' house.
High ceilings, exposed and painted technical parts, suspended acoustic panels, all structural elements are refreshed and exposed by this cleaning. The intervention of MAO allows the new architecture to find a quality of traffic and uses, in addition to providing appropriate public equipment in a stimulating environment.

Proof that architecture also revives the pride of its inhabitants.

Project title : Albert Schweitzer socio-cultural center
City, Country: Dammarie-les-Lys (78)
Owner: City of Dammarie-les-Lys
Mastery of work : MAO
Area : 4 200 m²
Cost of works: 4.7 € HT
Calendar : 2019 delivery

Another stone put in favor of culture.

To learn more, visit the MAO website

Photographs: Cyril Lallement

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