Client : Ville de Thionville
Cost : 11 000 000 €
Area : 4590 sqm
This project has the ambition of becoming a new model for media libraries. The programme calls the functions of a media library into question, lending it the content of a ‘third place’ – a place where members of the public become actors in their own condition, a place for creation as well as reception. The building includes areas for displays, creation, music studios, and a café-restaurant. The various activities in the programme blend into each other, creating a dynamic arrangement. The building comes up close to the crown of plane trees – this proximity acts as a filter from the street, apparently playing with this first colonnade of plant-life. The facade functions as an unfurling ribbon that serves as a backdrop to the different universes contained in the programme. The hollow and solid sections produce an ambiguity between inside and outside, questioning the borders of the public space. Space becomes uncertain: it ceases to have clear outlines, and calls itself into question in practical terms. Light spreads out along the ribbon, and the ribbon distributes the light to the area right in the heart of the building. A garden ramp offers another escape route to the outside, leading upwards to a summer bar, the culminating point of the architectural promenade. Getting closer to the line of the horizon; the town disappears, leaving just the crown of plane trees to dialogue with the sky. The building rests on a principle of stacking simple systems, each with their own logic, creating tension in the space and in how it is read. The optically perceived space eludes the Euclidean space and its preference for straight lines. The bubbles contain very specific elements of the programme, such as a storytelling area, places for playing video games, a plastic arts room, etc. They are defined as cocoons where people are cut off from the other universes. The materials of the space bring out variations of light and colouring that contrast with the bubbles. The multiple routes offer constantly renewed viewpoints. The promenade turns into a process of revealing the various universes. This sophistication generates a “plastic acoustic”, an atmosphere which re-examines the relationship with the body and fluidity. There is no unequivocal reading of the space; the perception one has of it reveals a complexity and an unexpected richness. It is a place of freedom.
Competition for the 3eL media library, Thionville, Fr