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Decazeville family services


mission new construction –competition
client Social security regional centre in the mines of the south-west
project manager CoCo architecture (agent to client), Pierre Enjalbal architecte, Jerome Russery, Sigma acoustique INTECH
date 2012
footprint 1000m²
price 1,6M€ excl. tax
location Decazeville (12)

The project to construct a CAF-CARMI (family services for the mines of the south-west) in Decazeville takes place in the heart of the city, alongside Cabrol square. The proposed parcel currently holds an old building with a narrow access onto the square and a large sloped garden to the north. It sits between a police station to the west, and an early childhood centre to the east. The constraints posed by the orientation and topography of the site have strongly influenced the design of the project.

The challenges of the programme coincide with our desire to offer a high quality, functional piece architecture, integrated into its surroundings. The building is compact structure organised around an atrium with the ground floor resting at the same level as the square. We opted for a vertical construction with only a small footprint in order to minimise the any foundation work and to limit the risk of the potential ground movement. The existing volume is reworked, enlarging the site’s alleyway to the garden. This allows the facade to step away from the police station taking advantage of afternoon sun.

The decision to place the building on the high part of the site offers easy access for the building’s users. The building’s public entry has a direct link with the square with a lower sitting garden for the staff and members of associations. The distribution on the different levels is achieved by a central atrium. While bringing daylight into the heart of the building, this space also significantly reduces movement throughout the building. The placement of the building’s vertical circulation offers direct access from the atrium. The lift and stairs are near to the reception area and public spaces, assuring efficient circulation for all.