Graeme Mann & Patricia Capua Mann
best architects 09 gold
Borex-Crassier | Schweiz
Borex and Crassier, two villages located at the foot of the Jura Mountains and near the city of Nyon, share a school complex located on their border. The particular characteristics of this site derive from its structural fabric made up of a variety of heterogeneous buildings. The expansion of the existing sports hall is the result of a competition and left little margin of freedom because of a limited perimeter. Due to its position, the new extension reinforces the western boundary with the countryside and takes advantage of the break in the terrain in order to reduce the impact of the volume on the site. The quest for continuity with the existing building dictates the rules in terms of extension volume. This “fusional” approach allows to define a single entrance for the three sports halls. This new entrance gives direct access to the foyer, which, like a balcony, overlooks the new hall. From there, an architectural promenade enables visitors to enjoy changing ambiance as they walk down to the lower level intended for the dressing rooms and sports halls. Showcasing the view, accentuated by the absence of vertical uprights over a length of thirty-two meters, is made possible thanks to a multi-trellis wooden beam six meters high and prefabricated in solid pine wood. The static system of the building derives from the intertwining of these multi-trellis beams. The interior space of these halls is defined on three of its sides by this play of wooden beams and affords a particular atmosphere further enhanced by the play of light which brings the beam’s cane texture to life. These effects are accentuated by the exterior covering in translucent glass and the interstitial space, one meter thick, which regulates the inside temperature.