Media library [Third-Place] in Thionville

Media library [Third-Place] in Thionville

Dominique Coulon & associés
1 place Malraux, 57100 Thionville, France | View Map
Année du projet

Histoires par
Dominique Coulon & associés

Jung HQ
©Eugeni Pons
Fiche technique du produit

ÉlémentMarqueProduct Name
FabricantsJung HQ
Interior painting cleaningAppel
Concrete slabBati Procarrelage
Earthworks road worksCostantini
Glued floorsDEBRA

Fiche technique du produit
by Jung HQ
Interior painting cleaning
by Appel
Concrete slab
Earthworks road works
Glued floors

Media library [Third-Place] in Thionville

Dominique Coulon & associés en tant que Architectes.

This project has the ambition of becoming a new model for media libraries. The programme calls the functions of a media library into question, lending it the content of a ‘third place’ – a place where members of the public become actors in their own condition, a place for creation as well as reception. In association with the basic programme, the building includes areas for displays, creation, music studios, and a café-restaurant.To give meaning to this new programme, it seemed necessary to question the way in which a place of this kind is produced. The various activities in the programme blend into each other, creating a dynamic arrangement.The spatial principle is based on a non-hierarchical superposition of different systems.

The buildingis set within a square, an isotropic figure that does not privilege any one direction. The figure is created by the geometry of the site.The building comes up close to the crown of plane trees surrounding the site. This is the first thickness to act as a filter from the street, apparently playing with this first colonnade of plant-life.

The facade serves as an unfurling ribbon that serves as a backdrop to the different universes contained in the programme. The hollows in the folds of the facade embrace these universes, while the wrap effect impacts a sense of spatial continuity.

The envelope acts as a protective membrane that both contains the space and maintains a constant relationship with the outside. At its closest to the street, the ribbon dips, the better to contain it, rising again where it stands further back.In the hollows, the border between the interior space and the urban space is less clear and makes it possible to come closer, to embrace the building visually. The hollow and solid sections produce an ambiguity between inside and outside, questioning the borders of the public space. Space becomes uncertain: it ceases to have clear outlines, and calls itself into question in practical terms.

Light spreads out along the ribbon, and the ribbon distributes the light to the area right in the heart of the building. A garden ramp offers another escape route to the outside, leading upwards to a summer bar, the culminating point of the architectural promenade. The garden extends the indoor walkway, getting closer to the line of the horizon; the town disappears, leaving just the crown of plane trees to dialogue with the sky. New uses become possible: people can take a nap, picnic, read outside, or gather in a group.

The building rests on a principle of independent, irregular systems. Stacking these simple systems, each with their own logic, creates tension in the space and in how it is read. In this way, the optical perceptive space eludes the Euclidean space and its preference for straight lines. The posts are not organised according to a legible regular line, but appear to have been positioned randomly, even though they literally respond to the requirements of stability.This irregularity removes the virtual constraint of an orthonormal structure, leaving the appearance of disorder.

Thebubbles contain very specific elements of the programme, such as a storytelling area, language laboratories, places for playing video games, a plastic arts room, etc. Their shape and height depend on their function. They are defined as cocoons where people are cut off from the other universes, escaping from the collective area.A very wide range of materials is used: rough and smooth cork surfaces contrast with the immaculate white of the plastic arts room.The bubbles are the last refuge, the most intimate part of the building. They do not respond to Cartesian logic either.The distance between them depends on their area of influence and on their scale.

Similarly, the floors and ceilings of the principal space are made of discontinuous, autonomous surfaces, with lines that are independent of each other.The colour and the materials of the principal space bring out variations of light and colouring that contrast with the material nature of the bubbles.Green and white extend the garden, which penetrates the heart of the building and form a connection with the crown of plane trees.

The space is fluid, and the multiple routes offer new and constantly renewed viewpoints. The promenade turns into a process of revealing the various universes. The unfolding of the envelope accentuates this impression of infinite space. The ribbon takes on its full force. In this “ineffable” space, the notion of gravity seems to disappear – the roof and walls appear to float.

Within the building, postures are multiple – it is possible to curl up, stretch out, perch at a height, and swing. The ergonomics of the building are called into question, and the place of the body is rehabilitated in a playful approach.

The layers and overlays build up, yet each retains its own autonomy and logic. This project contains arrangements that stand comfortably side by side. The different logics – of the programme, the structure, and the space – are mutually enriching. This sophistication generates a “plastic acoustic” that lends this new place an atmosphere which transports and re-examines the relationship with the body and fluidity. There is no unequivocal reading of the space; the perception one has of it reveals a complexity and an unexpected richness. It is a place of freedom.

Extraordinary media library

Jung HQ en tant que Fabricants.

LS990: Benchmark Applications of a Classic Design. JUNG as Timeless Conqueror of Unique Architecture

Futuristic Utilisation Concepts: Third Place Media Library in Thionville, France

The French Third Place media library is located in the city centre of Thionville, in the north of France. With this project, the Strasbourg-based architects Dominique Coulon & associés have created more than just a building: Third Place is a futuristic implementation of an innovative, networked and organic educational space. In addition to the huge media centre, the library also offers large, individually designed exhibition spaces and study rooms, as well as a café and a restaurant.

Surrounded by trees on all four sides, the building is visually separated from the traffic. The building’s dynamic form curves like a band around a central courtyard. An interior ramp leads to a terrace on the green rooftop. The classic design of LS 990 is implemented in the intensive shades of the Les Couleurs® Le Corbusier palette.

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