Year-round Fresh Air at Day Camp

Architecture is closely connected to environmental strategies. Nature fills the foreground of a community building in Givors, on the outskirts of the city of Lyon. The trees and hillside topography form the site characteristics where a non-residential day camp accommodates children aged 4‒12 years old when schools are closed. Designed by Tectoniques architects, this community building can adapt to future needs. Viewed from the east, the shadowed recess at ground level is an occupiable space sheltered above by the enclosed belvedere with clerestory.

Tectoniques architects
Photo courtesy of Tectoniques

Windows allow light to travel through separated space, commonly between a furnished room and the outdoors. While having the pleasure of a beautiful view, a person might feel the radiance of a sunlit day through a window. At ground level, doors are discoverable opportunity for those who abstractly contemplated the view long enough from the canteen and are ready to concretely investigate the grassy hillside.

Tectoniques architects
Photo courtesy of Tectoniques

Social gathering is part of any local life. Public community buildings serve the purpose of a social experience. Leisure and recreation are times when people participate in shared activities.

On a higher plane, this day camp building has a position in a untroubled interaction between visibility and view. The architecture shares its vantage with the occupants by engaging them with a fresh visual perspective of their town’s urban form. Another view of our own neighborhood is an opportunity to reflect on our community. On the edge of town where nature thrives against an unspecified periphery is a spot we can go to rekindle the tangible experience of being peacefully in-between.

Tectoniques architects
Photo courtesy of Tectoniques

Buildings are architectural objects which are recognized as places. We have a sense of reaching a goal or destination before we arrive. We see it. We feel its shadow. We hear the commotion near it. A building might display a signature color, like Tectoniques’ yellow makes a vibrant statement. A wider open platform that leads to an entrance suggests a facility open to the public, although this is not true for every building.

Tectoniques architects
Photo courtesy of Tectoniques

For the entrance level, the plan shows the architectural lemma of a central corridor as an organizational space. The splayed corridor exhibits spatial priority and contributes to wayfinding. Spatial orientation in this corridor is emphasized by clerestory light, and different lengths of  hallway, each terminated by individuated doors.

Tectoniques architects
Axonometric drawing © Tectoniques, architect

Architectural design is an experience of conceptualizing and abstractly testing spatial programme. Tectoniques’ portfolio of work exhibits a chronology of projects with evolutive architectural detailing. The thoughtful construction detailing that might appear to be like finely layered torte, instead is sandwiched environmentalism. The architects’ repertoire of wall detailing could be combined like a catalog of prefabricated units.

Tectoniques architects
Axonometric drawing © Tectoniques, architect

There is something similar about the phrase “architectural practice” and experiential learning. Real experience is the basis for observation and adaptation. A new project tests a new concept that will be observed and reconsidered to influence the development of another project. An architectural practice needs a long period of activity to increase its portfolio of built work and resources for detail. Tectoniques Architectes have twenty years of continuous work and activity as an agency.

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Written by CPG

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CREDIT
Tectoniques Architectes, architect. Non-residential day camp centre in Givors. Ville de Givors, client. Tectoniques Ingénieurs, High-B-Tech, S2T; engineers. IMR, Socotec, Lafay SPS; consultants. Givors, FR, c. 2015.

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