A media library in Provence folds around a centuries-old plane tree

The last project by Dominique Coulon & associés attests the ability of French public administrations, and it is a brilliant example of active reuse of historical constructions.

The Pierre Bottero media library, recently completed by Dominique Coulon & associés in Pélissanne, Provence, is yet another piece of evidence of the ability of French administrations. Through well-managed competition processes, they prove to be able to consistently channel the efforts of good designers for the realization of high-quality public buildings and urban spaces.

The new media library is an excellent contemporary architecture. It is simultaneously commensurate and acclimated in its context – for its scale, for the unassuming simplicity of its language, for the grain and the sandy nuances of its elevations – and an exceptional occurrence, stressing the civic role of the institution that it hosts. An immense, curved glazing surface folds around a centuries-old plane tree, making it the lush background for visitors’ reading time. This is a surprise and a welcomed, abstract counterpoint to the picturesque maison Maureau, which the new volume integrates as an extension.

Dominique Coulon & associés, Media center and park, Pélissanne, France, 2020
Dominique Coulon & associés, Media center and park, Pélissanne, France, 2020

This device, alongside uninterrupted windowpanes on the ground floor, emphasizes the unity between the media library and the surrounding park, that also functions as a public passage through the block. Dominique Coulon & associés redesing this green space and enhance its porosity towards the street. An old building is emptied and transformed into an open covered pavilion, vibrant with the ancient textures of stone and wood, and filled with zenithal light thanks to its translucent canopy.

The project for the Pierre Bottero media library also shows the great potential stemming from a well-though but active reuse of historical constructions, preserved as heritage in their most valuable elements – here, the maison Maureau – but also rediscovered as the place for resolutely contemporary spaces and aesthetics.

Dominique Coulon & associés, Media center and park, Pélissanne, France, 2020
Dominique Coulon & associés, Media center and park, Pélissanne, France, 2020
Media library and park
Pélissanne, France
Dominique Coulon & associés
Project leaders:
Dominique Coulon, Jean Scherer
Project team:
Gautier Duthoit, David Romero-Uzeda, Javier Gigosos, Diego Bastos-Romero, Olivier Poulat, Margot Machin, Thomas Bukenmeyer, Florent Revel, Théo Petit, Yannick Signani
Batiserf Ingénierie
Landscape design:
Bruno Kubler
982 sqm (media library), 3,450 sqm (public park)

Latest on Architecture

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram