Centre cultural: Guillaume Ramillien’s ’Christian Marin’ building, Paris

Centre cultural: Guillaume Ramillien’s ’Christian Marin’ building, Paris

Situated in the southeast of Paris, the Christian Marin building offers a modern, eco-conscious take on the community centre.

A building type all too often associated with the drab and dowdy, this offering from Guillaume Ramillien Architecture represents the future of social consciousness. Commissioned as part of the Parisian commune Limeal-Brévannes’ new urban planning schedule, the wooden structure will serve the 700 houses currently undergoing construction in the nearby area, providing space for a range of community events.

The distinctive building is clad in larch and Douglas fir panels that catch the light to varying degrees, creating a textured exterior with an almost fabric-like quality. The Parisian architecture firm has continued the natural theme in the interior décor with flat wood-panelling and expansive windows that bring the outside in.

But the building’s crowning glory takes the form of a grass-covered roof that serves both an aesthetic and a practical function in helping to insulate the low energy construction.

Built at a cost of €925,000 (£680,000), the centre meets the requirements of a Passivhaus – a building which takes most of its energy from natural sources and therefore consumes relatively little manmade resources. Whilst the average building in Europe runs at around 210 kWh/m2, Christian Marin will expend less than 15 kWh/m2 per year for both heating and cooling.

Since 2008, the firm have been pioneering socially aware building designs and urban plans. Priding their work on a sensitivity to the environment in which their designs will function, the architects offer, in Christian Marin, a building that compliments the surrounding buildings through the adoption of its neighbours’ rigid lines but with a playful take on materials. 

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