Serero Architects Designs New Cultural Center of Meudon-la-Forêt

Nature was the inspiration for architect David Serero of the French architectural firm Serero Architects, who designed the new cultural center of Meudon-la-Forêt. The building follows the orthogonal grid of the district while developing a close connection with the ground space.

The project is organized around a central nucleus created by a theater of 300 seats. Its peripheral envelope is lifted above the hall to reveal the inside spaces and circulation. Trapezoidal windows are placed on the whole surrounding of the building avoiding the traditional “black box” effect of a theater located in the middle of an urban environment. According to Serero, “In opposition with the unique window used by [architect] F. Pouillon for all the housing of the district, we conceived a system of free formed windows, the geometry of which is derived from the canopy of trees.”

According to Serero, this project is conceived from the inside out, resulting in the manipulation of the ground and the roof which delimit spaces. The building cantilevers above the reception hall, protecting a large glazed surface from the sun and rain. All the spaces of circulation and reception are widely bathed in natural light, either by the curtainwall of the reception hall, or by the sheds on the roof of the studios. The variation in the size of wall aperture and windows gives a quality of foliage to the bright atmosphere, the firm adds.

Illumination inside the main hall changes throughout the day. Offices and working spaces are lit by multiple window apertures of free forms, which allow every work space to have one or two views of the outdoor and landscaped spaces.

The building is clad in an architectonic skin of white concrete which will integrate bits of gravel and limestone of Meudon in its composition. Conceived as a performative skin, the roof is an important element of this project and integrates devices for controlling the internal light and thermal atmosphere of the building. On the south side, photovoltaic panels will be installed to harvest part of the electrical energy consumed by the building.