The town of Pornic's elected representatives expressed their “deep-rooted” commitment to regional tradition, immediately excluding any other architectural form that did not match the traditional volumes and templates of the Pays de Retz, such as roofs with gable roofs, covered in tiles.
Because the Communauté de Communes (Town Community) Centre had to fit into a business park already denoted by previous building projects (hospitals, police station, office buildings), which had all been subjected to these regulations, we chose to make a deferent contextual offer in relation to the site and its history.
To this end, we took an interest in what the Pays de Retz tradition could reveal, thereby stimulating our imagination. We developed our project by reinterpreting the salt storehouses, known as the “salorges”, widespread in this area of the Atlantic coast, from the Guérande peninsula as far as Vendée. These are long, simply constructed buildings, clad with timber.
So we joined two simple volumes in the shape of these traditional buildings. Here the protective timber skin is stylish. It meets the requirements of a responsible environmental approach. A thick skin provides the necessary insulation of the building from the outside, and the concrete structure ensures thermal inertia. The façade's structured design alternates solid and empty spaces. This contributes to the control of solar exposure, while giving rhythm to and creating continuous light and shade animation following the solar cycle. It is a cladding which is reversed on a fifth “protective” façade, ensuring a calm and reassuring composition, in which we were able to mix tradition and modernity consistently.
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