Designed by XXL Atelier*, the new headquarters for Copamo – the Mornant district municipal federation (Rhône) emerges discreetly from the surrounding vineyards and forests, in a verdant amphitheatre, in the heart of the Clos Fournereau park.
After works lasting 18 months, the building was handed over in November 2016. This stocky, efficient public edifice has an elegance, with its curtain walls, its slim white columns, and its cubic asymmetric forms representing a dialogue between the service block and the original council chamber (see below). “The idea is to preserve the visual transparence over the park,” explains architect Fabien Jallon, “while anticipating the future swimming pool from an esthetic point of view. Nearly 70% of the roofs are vegetal. The entire structure is aligned on a service road, creating a new entry to the town.”
The rather sober administrative buildings are linked to the more unusual council chamber by a lacquered steel canopy supported on concrete posts, leaving a passage open towards the natural environment. A copper-covered metallic mesh forms the metal frame of the vast, 210m², oval council chamber. The idea was to evoke an enormous hay bale, echoing the agricultural character of the area. The modular interior can accommodate up to 42 councillors and has space for projections on a large screen. Multi-coloured baffles are attached to the ceiling. To improve the acoustic, the walls are dressed in wooden lattice cladding, covering felt and fiberglass insulation. A restaurant area, a hall, cloakrooms and a reception desk have been installed.
The resolutely ecological building has an RT2012 certificate and is rated as a low energy building. As for energy consumption, it is heated by a gas heating system, with heat distributed by a double-flow central air controller. Lighting is supplied by on-off LEDs. If the ground floor of the building is in concrete, the rest has been constructed on a wooden frame, covered by self-cleaning metal cladding. Why a wood frame? Because of its excellent ability to stock carbon dioxide, its thermal qualities and its durability (sourced from renewable forests), insists the project controller. The use of natural materials will also make it easier to dismantle the building when it reaches the end of its life. The project took time to manage; the new Copamo service hub dates from 2001, recalls the president, Thierry Badel. Patience is a virtue which pays: in September 2016 the site won a prize in the architecture category of the trophies awarded by the group of Rhone mayors, organized by the Le Progrès daily paper.
Profils Systèmes’ Pazco® range (in antique grey) has been used to clad most of the building. Around 520m² of aluminium joinery has been installed; a hundred frames, access doors, entrances with automatic doors. The constructor-installer is Compagnie Vosgienne d’Isolation (CVI). “This is a project which is out of the ordinary from the esthetic point of view,” stresses Christian Mouchon, project manager for CVI’s Lyon agency, which did 80% of the supply and fitting on the site. The agents are satisfied with the thermal comfort provided. The joinery fitting took three months, he explained. “There was a big job to do on the concept realization with sections of the wooden frame. We had to integrate our standard procedures with some large façades, which was complicated from a technical aspect.” This required the creation of some glazed ensembles from 10 to 11 metres wide and 3.5 metres high on the first floor, a kind of glazed gable, with zinc returns. For the first floor, “there were a lot of exchanges with the façade supervisor. We had to take account of the zinc coming back over our installations, so that this covering was held in against our windows.”
Another difficulty was the fitting of fixed frames on a sloping angle for the council chamber. The glazing, (a Profils Systèmes Tanagra® curtain wall) which enveloped the chamber (7 metres long by 3.6 metres wide) required a load-bearing study.
A supporting frame was designed to form the link between the glazing and the roof terrace. XXL Atelier, CVI and the designers of the wooden frame worked together to find solutions. Something to say about Profils Systèmes? “We are big users of their aluminium! In terms of tonnage, we are amongst their largest clients. They are always ready to listen to client companies and are very open-minded. On particular sites they can create specific profiles,” said Christian Mouchon with enthusiasm.
Architect: Fabien Jallon
Cost of works : 2.46 million euros
Built area: 1650m2
Total volume of wood used: 157.33m3
Fabricator-installer: CVI - Saulxures/Moselotte (88) Profils Systèmes Certified manufacturer - cvi-alu.fr
Co-contractors: C2 économie (economists), Betrec (technical engineers), Seitt, Acouphen
50 of ces housing 80 agents
3 meeting rooms, 1 youth information office, 1 economics / jobs / training room, 1 multimedia training room
Joinery ranges: Pazco® windows and doors Tanagra® glazing curtain wall
Colours : Ral 7021, Gris antique Terra Cigala®
Photos: Richard Sprang