Atelier Martel: Epilepsy residential care home - best architects 17

Atelier Martel

Epilepsy residential care home

best architects 17

public buildings


Dommartin-lès-Toul / France


Mayanna von Ledebur


The site is located between pastures and business parks in the semi-urban fringe at the outskirts of Dommartin-lès-Toul. The project is a poetic response to the »business park« landscape: an imaginative reinterpretation of these big, simple and autonomous objects of the suburbs. The challenge was to adapt the language of fragmented cities to create warm, caring and permanent structures. The building originated from a patient association initiative. A collaborative working method was implemented from the start, including doctors, patients, architects and the artist Mayanna von Ledebur. The collaboration with an artist facilitated the dialogue between all those involved and promoted the appropriation mechanisms, defining the level of domestic services, charm and comfort this big, isolated structure should offer. The economic constraints led the Atelier to eliminate the superfluous. A single-storey building in concrete was conceived, opened with four large patios, softened through a curved matrix, and lent colour by traditional wool tapestries. This sufficed to blur the boundaries between the worlds and summon a succession of images: the building is a shed but also a cloister, a house, a public place, a school, a playground, a garden. This project advocates for a process of sharing experiences in order to create urban objects that redefine ordinary shapes as specific places.