Accommodation center


The project of the accommodation center consists in a restaurant, working space for scientific research and seventy-four bedrooms. The building is part of a complex of facilities which include the oceanological research center and observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer, in France. The building is located on the seaside and continues along the existing topography, be it of the sky, the ground or the horizon. It reinvents the relationship between the view and the landscape, and accompanies the building height plan of the city.

Its ocher tones reflect the surrounding hills and the nature of the soil that comprises the cultivated terraces of the hinterlands. These hills covered with vineyards tower above the sea and glint with the deep earthy hues of iron oxides. The project, a rectangular monolith entirely coated in a gown of pink-ocher coral, faces the marina. It also marks the limits of the shore and the city. Behind this undulating envelope, access to the bedrooms is provided by large peripheral walkways that also serve as balconies for the accommodations. The walkways are covered with a self-consolidating concrete mesh inspired by a graphic, light and see-through coral design (Gorgones).

The facades have been developed using a limited amount of distinct shapes, also called strands, that were casted on site. These strands were then assembled in modules according to a simple mathematical algorithm which creates a vibration in the shadows and the matter. The restaurant is on the second floor. Its presence is highlighted by a large breach in the coral mesh, a window inviting the landscaping inside, and offering a panoramic view of the horizon and the open sea.

The colorful concrete mesh is at the same time a balustrade and a visual filter to the sea. It provides a wall that guarantees the intimacy of users, bedrooms and walkways. It also features openings which offer a subtle variation to the framing of the near and far landscape. The gaze is attracted from the inside to the outside and reveals the landscape. The views become rhythmic, accentuated by the movements and the different uses.
Beyond simple matter, the project falls within a poetic and scientific approach in order to reveal the landscape.


Encore Heureux: Mus


The extension forms a new basement for the station, with its smooth, slightly tilted façade unfolding and running up to the surrounding retaining walls. The station has been preserved in its original form, and the new building creates a space for a raised terrace which can be used for openings, educational events or outdoor exhibitions.

The reception area, services and temporary exhibitions are located in the new section of the museum, while the permanent collections are presented on the two floors of the old station. The ground floor shows the transition from the village of Suresnes, with its traditions of vineyards and pilgrimages, to an industrial town which produced new mass-market items but generated housing problems. As they go upstairs, visitors are greeted by the portrait of Henri Sellier, mayor of the town from 1919 to 1941, and discover his ambitions and actions.

Models and objects displayed on large white tables tell the story of the town’s urban and social planning. Large-scale images are projected to provide context and animate the displays. The architects use the interplay of colours to successfully juxtapose contemporary architecture and a historic building: outside, the concrete imitates the soft, natural colour of the stone, while indoors the museography awakens the bright, joyous tones of the brick.

Mus, museum of urban and social history, Suresnes, Nanterre, France
Program: museum
Architects: Encore Heureux
Client: Ville de Suresnes
Area: 1000 sqm
Completion: 2013