An old abandoned railway facility, this site is owned by the town, and is located between the foot of the hill and the rail lines, facing the castle and the station; it was used as a large public multi-storey car park. This construction project for a commercial building is the conclusion of a major programme launched on this site by the town of Vitré.
This programme consists of creating a transport interchange, or Pôle d’Échange Multimodal (PEM): its main elements are the construction of both a footbridge that crosses and serves the rail station platforms and a new multi-storey public car park with over 600 spaces.
Construction of the new car park has left enough land available to the East of the site for this commercial building, consisting of an island of approximately 1200 m² surrounded by parking service roads. The land thus taken is the building’s footprint.
An Office Building
The building’s frame sits on a textured concrete plinth, which is the top of the underground car park. The ground floor is organised around a hall, with level access through a courtyard from the East façade.
The through hall also offers access to the West façade opposite the public car park. It serves two parallel South and North wings, both of which are intended for small premises open to the public which can be accessed directly from the courtyard. This hall leads to each of the two intermediate floors for office use.
The Fifth Façade a Roof Garden
On the roof, the building benefits from the development of a terrace garden which, due to the topography of the site, is truly a fifth façade. Because of its geographical location, this roof garden offers an outstanding panorama over the historic town of Vitré.
It is a new element in the landscape, thanks to both the slope against which the building lies and the station infrastructure – the car park with garden terraces and footbridges.
The roof garden evokes the spirit of a mediaeval garden. Within a rectilinear plan, the space is broken up according to the functions it provides, all arranged around a deep central “well”. The terrace also benefits from a private area and a technical equipment room.
The simple and monolithic mass of the building is hollow within, giving a central open-air courtyard that maximises natural lighting on the various floors. The building’s surfaces, including those of the courtyard, are clad in a unique material – wood – through the use of horizontal larch slats.
The distance between these slats varies from 15 to 70 mm, which allows for a playful variation in rhythm depending on the function behind the façade – e.g. stairwell, windows, solar shades, railings etc. Source by Tetrarc.
- Location: Vitré, France
- Architect: Tetrarc
- Project Director: Jean-Pierre Macé
- Project Manager: Olivier Pérocheau
- Project Assistant: Julie Goislot
- Landscape: Louise Folin
- Construction Site: Olivier Pérocheau, Jean-Pierre Macé and Julie Goislot
- BET Thermal: BETOM
- BET Acoustics: ACOUSTIBEL
- Control Office: APAVE
- SPS: VERITAS
- Client: Eiffage Immobilier Grand Ouest
- Surface area: 3085 m2 SP
- Cost: € 3.2 million excluding taxes
- Year: 2018
- Photographs: Gaël Arnaud, Courtesy of Tetrarc
Article by Marco Rinaldi