Garges-lès-Gonesse Cultural Centre by archi5

Garges-lès-Gonesse Cultural Centre

The city of Garges-lès-Gonesse had the ambition to enrich its public facilities with a new cultural centre that would reflect the image of a young and artistically creative city. The work brings together the various disciplines that make up the city’s cultural landscape.

The aim was to stimulate cross-cutting activities between the arts and to encourage the opening up of culture from this new cultural centre. The project unfolds around the existing Lino Ventura space with a 250-seat auditorium, a 200-seat cinema, a conservatory and a media library, organised around a generous, bright and crossing reception area.

The Lino Ventura space benefits from a central urban location, at the heart of the town’s road network and public transport system. The project is located at the crossroads of the two main roads running through the town, Avenue du Général Leclerc and Avenue du Général de Gaulle. The cultural centre project completes the network of existing public facilities, mainly educational, the Simone de Beauvoir high school, the Henri Matisse college and the Paul Langevin primary schools.

The green corridor bears witness to the former route of the abandoned A16 motorway, which extends along the entire western boundary of the plot. A real breathing space in a dense urban context, its physiognomy and its opportune position between the Fort de Stains to the north and the Parc de la Courneuve to the south, favours the attractiveness of the cultural centre. The green corridor anchors the project as a milestone and reveals it to visitors in a friendly and welcoming green setting.

The project, through its clear layout, its simple, balanced volumes, establishes the urban coherence of the site in a symbiotic relationship with the park and the neighbouring facilities. The large volumes that open up and project towards the city express, in an iconic architectural language, the influence of the city’s culture towards new urban, social and artistic territories.

A Cultural Centre that opens up to the City
The project extends the volume of the Lino Ventura auditorium towards the park in a cantilevered fashion, with the new auditorium next to it. The delivery areas, the storage and artist reception areas and the technical rooms are located between the two auditoriums, flanked on either side by the courtyard/garden passages.

A Cultural Centre for a young and artistically creative Town
The sharing of these spaces for the two auditoriums optimises their use and facilitates the management of the technical teams. The common core also acts as an acoustic buffer between the two large volumes.

The volumes of the cinema, the conservatory and the media library are organised in spokes with the volumetric ensemble of the auditorium and the Lino Ventura space as their centre of gravity. The large openings of two lateral wings, the conservatory to the south and the media library to the north, showcase their respective activities: dance and movement for one, knowledge and culture for the other.

The hall unifies all the entities and stretches out in a taut curve under the auditorium’s overhang, highlighting the main access to the cultural centre. With its large windows, the boundary with the landscape is reduced to its strict minimum. The hall is generously lit, user-friendly, transparent, and offers wide panoramic views of the exterior. Two forecourts emerge between the incoming corners of the building, inviting visitors to wander between the abstract blocks that make up the structure.

The western forecourt flares out under the suspended mass of the auditorium, and is diluted in the park. The northern forecourt nestles in the curved façade of the hall, between the Lino Ventura space and the media library. Organised in a radiating pattern around the preserved Lino Ventura space, the real cornerstone of the project, the cultural centre extends along the entire length of the site, delicately opening up to the inhabitants in a reassuring, fraternal gesture.

Project Volumetry
The project pays great attention to the clarity of its architecture and the coherence of its volumetric intention in relation to its functional organisation. One building equals one function. Each programmatic entity is easily identifiable and benefits from its own independent access from the hall with autonomous operation. Supervision is easy and noise pollution is controlled.

This requirement for restraint in the service of a remarkable architectural gesture is also reflected in the choice of elementary and balanced volumes. The scales, the rigorous proportions and the behaviour of the facades are all instruments that give rhythm and guarantee pleasant variations in the facades. Source by archi5.

  • Location: Garges-lès-Gonesse, France
  • Architect: archi5
  • Structure, Fluids, Economist: Egis
  • Environmental engineer: Egis concept
  • Acoustic engineer: Cap Horn Solutions
  • Signage: Atelier 59
  • Light designer: Concepto
  • Landscaper: archi5
  • Scenography: Architecture & technique
  • Kitchen engineer: Alma consulting
  • Client: City of Garges-lès-Gonesse
  • Surface: 7 843 m2
  • Cost: 26,135,620 € Excl. tax.
  • Completion: October 2022
  • Photographs: Sergio Grazia, Courtesy of archi5