Eric Arsenault Architecture

01 Beffes accueil personnes agees

Elderly services center

  • Localisation : Beffes (18)
  • Program : meeting room, library, computer club, infirmary, doctor, hairdresser, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, keeper's house
  • Project type : new build
  • Surface : 2 840 m2
  • Cost : 2 035 000 € excl. VAT
  • Client : City of Beffes
  • Work duration : 12 months
  • Delivered: 2007
  • Photos : Christophe Deschanel

Beffes public services building is located along a small road out of town before a group of newly created housing estate accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

The aim is to serve both the existing village and the new houses. For this, the activities offered are open to all and the building remains a public facility with a collective hall, a library, a computer club, a hairdresser, doctors, etc.

The construction is a slender building, a kind of big barn or long farmhouse which will host all the activities in different atmospheres (volumes, natural light, materials ...). The different inner décors splashes onto the façades’ décor.

The heart of the building — the recreation hall — is placed in the axis of the shaded pedestrian walkway (the mall) which leads into the premises. This central part of the building meets with a North / South area made of timber and glass, which opens southward onto the outdoor terrace overlooking the village.

Cars access the site from the North and visitors are voluntarily lead into the space allocated for housing. This organization also frees space for southern extensions of outdoor activities giving onto public areas (road, village) and thus confirms the desire to integrate this equipment in the village.

All the activities of the centre communicate with each other but all have differentiated access and all can operate independently : the recreation area, the computer club and the care area.

The recreation hall, inside, is clad in wood, the ceilings are low and acoustic. The library, a quiet area by definition, reveals the entire space under the roof. It is designed as a light box : natural light is captured by north orientated translucent roof elements and by a variation of clay sunscreens from the west façade. The attic space is used, according to the sectors, as a maintenance space, or as storage or for light capture (library).

The space housing the computer club is a surprise box dressed with zinc, with overhead lighting to avoid light reflection on the screens.