AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
 

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france

 

located in the town of gournay-en-bray in france, the CULT dance, media and music school by vincent parreira architecture atelier (AAVP) occupies the former site of the damau factory. with that in mind, the centre has come to be designed as a workshop and meets two major challenges: building a contemporary structure at the black of the plot which redefines the relationship with the natural environment and exisiting traditional architecture; ensuring the building is readable in relation to the context by framing views from the main and secondary entrances.  

AAVP cult center france designboom
image © luc boegly

 

 

the newly built centre by AAVP, being a cornerstone of the project and the face of the cultural hub within, is set in perfect harmony with the architecture of the town centre. the double sloping lines of the structures of yesteryear meet a contemporary archetype dressed in dark purple slate and interrupted intermittently, depending on the needs of the programme, by volumes framing the landscape. this type of plane, highly characteristic of the town, becomes a thread linking old and new, a free reinterpretation and a statement in favour of craft and style. 

AAVP cult center france designboom
image © luc boegly

 

 

 

the programmed space includes a ground floor (multimedia library and dance school), a first floor (music school) and basement (technical premises) which can be accessed from the outside. with its views onto the garden, it is the only building open to the public. moreover, the body of the maison des associations (local clubs and activities centre) is an extension of the existing structure which lends its truss as a point of connection. the architecture also includes a glass-panelled hall that presents a generous space for exhibitions and serves as a ‘gateway to oversee access to various activities.

AAVP cult center france designboom
image © luc boegly

 

 

the multimedia library is composed of an adults section next to the entrance and the deeper visitors venture into the building, the closer they get to the children’s areas. the woodwork present within suggests almost cathedral-like volumes, with a soothing light flooding the reading rooms. on the other hand, the first floor is entirely given over to music rooms designed around an inner passageway  – offering an urban feel. finally, the dance school is located at the end of the left wing, settling into the main building with delicacy and elegance. 

AAVP cult center france designboom
image © luc boegly

 

 

with its gables echoing the outline of the existing lodge, the building known as ‘signal’ is recognized by a copper grid cladding. a vertical eight letter sign made from PMMA (transparent thermoplastic) has been fitted 4.5 metres from the ground to identify the centre. for clear readability from a distance with the semi-transparent grid behind it, the sign is backlit — letting off a soft, unobtrusive light. the lettering reflects a contemporary re-reading of signs, a nod to the remarkable style of advertising panels which, in the past, were characteristic of rural french landscapes. 

 

the main function of this ‘open air’ building is to communicate the town of gournay- en-bray’s cultural activities through the large and lit signage. in other words, having no commercial use and serving mainly for administrative purposes, the structure is not open to the public.  

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
image © luc boegly

 

 

the extensive glass façades of the centre are covered, in places, by a copper grid to dress the large volumes and transparent bays, creating intimacy or protection from the sun. this grid appears intermittently on the ground floor and extends over the entire height of the south truss to shield the large meeting room from outside eyes. furthermore, it enters into conversation with the sign-building at the entrance – and the diamond shaped corners of the copper boxes lend them a hard edge which brings them to life.  

02
image © luc boegly 

 

 

in the end, the same architectural language is preserved all throughout the project and is characterized by a deep purple slate covering and cladding. this is implemented in a traditional manner by local craftsmen and trades guild. its use is often reserved for prestigious buildings, but here it is implemented in a streamlined design with strong visual continuity, masking the gutters with no overhang on the roof. the envelope of scales created by the slates and reflections of the schist ultimately make the dark purple hue a poetic reference to the gardens and courtyards of the old damau factory

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
image © luc boegly

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
image © luc boegly 

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
image © luc boegly

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
image © luc boegly

AAVP's media, music and dance school in gournay-en-bray, france
image © luc boegly

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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