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Central catering


mission new construction –competition
client Town Council of Sarlat-la-Caneda
project manager Entreprise Vigier (agent to client), CoCo architecture, SNC Lavalin
date 2012
footprint 550m²
price 1,2M€ excl. tax
location Sarlat-la-Caneda (24)

The new central catering service planned for the town of Sarlat is located on a hill, within a forest. It will supply all local schools and retirement homes, a production of 1500 meals per day. The internal organisation has been optimised with the help of collective kitchen specialists. The plan is functional, following a notion of forward motion. It is compact and on one level, and responds to all accessibility and handicapped requirements. Below the process kitchen are the plant rooms, which take advantage of the slope of the land and are accessible from the lower level at the west.

Due to the nature of the site, the architectural intervention is light, sensitive and respectful of a forest of tall trees in which it sits. The volume is compact, limiting undue deforestation. Three facades are entirely surrounded by forest, while the fourth offers access to the building. This facade, at the east of the site, opens onto a parking platform and delivery bay.

The three other facades are covered in a smooth and reflective skin that with the help of the vegetation on site camouflage the building. The rectangular volume rests on a black, polished concrete base, hidden within the landscape. This foundation gives the sensation that the structure is floating in amongst the trees.

The honeycombed polycarbonate gives a depth to the volume as it sits in the shadows of trees within the undergrowth. The distance of the building from the limits of the property allow it to take better advantage of the site’s vegetation as a filter. The painting ‘Blanc Seing’ by Rene Magritte, in 1965 inspired the facade. It is created by bands of black adhesive, stuck behind the polycarbonate cladding. These strips texture the facade, mimicking the rhythm of the surrounding tree trunks.