Haute Saintonge Congress Centre | Tetrarc - architecture and design

Haute Saintonge Congress Centre | Tetrarc



Arch2O.com

Arch2O.com - Architecture & Design Magazine
First, the location was selected. A hole was excavated in the limestone, a cellar open to the sky, then a cave was created, a fissured limestone karst landscape, soft steps with worn treads, then the blinding light, and a return to the caves to marvel at the organ pipe stalactites…
Courtesy of TETRARC – Photographs : Charly Broyez, Véronique Sabadel
Combining business, cultural and leisure activities on a single site, the Haute Saintonge Congress Centre complements the range of existing facilities and represents a unique catalyst for dynamic development, both for the municipality and for all of Haute Saintonge. Created as a follow-up project to the ?Les Antilles? aquatic complex which opened in 2002, a creation of Dutch architects Roelof and Nannie Hendricks, the Centre has to fulfil a number of requirements :

? express the dynamic nature of the region.

? underline the exceptional character of a major public facility.

? make use of its architectural style to represent the type of facility that is used (and will be used for decades to come) by managers of companies and organisations who choose to meet there.

? acquire a distinctive personality of its own without rivalling the iconic image of Les Antilles.

While the Haute Saintonge Congress Centre has to fit into this perspective with visible long-term architectural quality, it is also important to root it firmly in its regional setting so that this spirit is conveyed to those who visit. Taking into account the sensitive features of the Val de Seugne landscape, we chose to design a building in the form of a monolith half-embedded in the valley landscape. To the south, the building?s emerging frontage is revealed as a light-filled circulation gallery, culminating around the theatre, the centrepiece of the composition. Courtesy of TETRARC – Photographs : Charly Broyez, Véronique Sabadel
Grand circulation gallery :

Access is at a single point, on the south wall of the building complex, in order to create a sense that you are gently converging on the building. This general entrance controls access for all users. Performers enter at the rear of the building, where deliveries are also made. This flexible reception area is bathed in natural light. Here, you find the general reception desk, ticket office and bar.
Courtesy of TETRARC – Photographs : Charly Broyez, Véronique Sabadel
The circulation gallery puts the building?s visitors on show: at different times, it can be a comfortable area for seminar participants to converse, a space where conference discussions continue, a rendezvous for participants in festivities or events, or a foyer wherein the interval, people discuss their first impressions of a concert or a play performed by renowned actors. All the facilities are directly connected to it.
Courtesy of TETRARC – Photographs : Charly Broyez, Véronique Sabadel
Seminar space :

The seminar space has it...
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