off architecture: cultural center in cugnaux, france
off architecture: cultural center in cugnaux, france off architecture: cultural center in cugnaux, france
may 05, 2010

off architecture: cultural center in cugnaux, france

cultural center in cugnaux, france by off architecture

french off architecture firm won the competition to design the cultural center in cugnaux, france.

they developed a high and compact building that can be seen throughout the city. a quality green landscaped park offers undulating hills to shelter actual or potential programs such as the parking or any garage sale, outside lounge, picnic, whilst, the vegetal canopy helps to break and adapt the scale of the building to its surroundings – where the thin and long stems trees frame its height.

the main entrance of the building is served by a public square. it establishes a strong link between the building and the city and naturally leads the public to the lobby. located on the ground floor, the spacious glazed hall is an extension of the courtyard allowing a smooth flow of circulations.  the square focuses francazal  avenue, which is the main road from the downtown, and extends until the limits of the car park to facilitate the flow of motorized users.

the lobby

the general organisation of the project consists of simple stacked volumes. the building is designed as a very compact object punctuated to its center by a patio that spans three levels, bringing light and comfort. all the vertical circulations of the building are organized in a central core accessible from the main lobby. four lifts serve the different levels. two are dedicated to the public whereas the others secure an access to the staff. thus, the flows of people are clearly identified and facilitate professional circulations between different poles: the showroom, the main venue/amphitheater, the municipal archives, the school of art education, the library, the cultural services and the technical rooms. the overall distribution of the programs allows each of the spaces to operate according to its own timetable and use.

exhibition gallery

the main amphitheatre

the main amphitheatre, directly accessible from the lobby, accommodates from 400 seats to 1000 standing people. its arrangement offers the public the best conditions of visibility and listening. the use of mobile benches allows flexibility of events. the room can also be opened on the outer north-east facade for concerts and festival events.

at night

the facade is the main feature of the whole concept. it is both a protective mesh and a remarkable external sign: it is a woven wooden skin that plays with different densities an scales for an optimal filtering effect based on thermal, visual and ambient qualities for each program.

the amphitheatre opens out from north-east facade

site plan

drawing of facade

computer generated drawing of the facade

floor plan

how each level is connected

exploded view of model

top view of model


have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,534 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample