Respecting the subdivision of the urban context, the project organises the site into three parts.
To the north, the existing garden is preserved. The traditional stone wall which encloses the garden has been made higher, to reach the same height of the neighbouring parcels, and it is extended to the interior of our site in order to create a walled orchard. This garden improves the view from the offices of the northern façade, as well as being an exterior space for the workers to enjoy.
The new, rectangular construction is integrated into the landscape in an east-west orientation, in the centre of the site. This orientation provides a better north-south exposure to the working spaces, and allows them to face onto the public space of the avenue, with a façade consistent with the dimensions of the neighbouring buildings.
STRUCTURE AND MODULARITY
The volumes of the lower floors are treated as a sturdy object, defined as mineral and “stereotomic” (the cutting solid masses into specific shapes), which allows for a dialogue with the landscape and the stone walls that characterise the area.
The structural shell of the building is conceived in a tinted and reinforced concrete, with a geometry regulated by a frame of 1.5m. The structural façades are characterised by the regular rhythm of openings, carved into the mass by bevelling the angles towards the south. In the interior, structural constraints and techniques have been reduced to a minimum, in order to ensure a high level of flexibility in the layout.
FLOW AND DYNAMICS
Users enter into the building from the avenue through an open stairway, which leads to the entry hall at the level of the orchard. At the entry way, the notarial archives are left visible through a dividing glass wall. This serves as a reminder of the “records” on which the notarial practice is based.
Upon entering the building, the user is received in a generously proportioned space, illuminated with natural light. The daylight coming from the archives acts as a counterpoint to the soft and homogenous lighting in the entrance hall, opening to the garden in the north. The position of a zenithal opening is in correspondence to the entry; it traps rays of sunlight in the interior, which stretch the length of the visitors’ entry passage.
From the hall, a passageway in the form of a loop gives access to all offices in the façade, as well as the service spaces in the centre of the building and the stairway that leads to the first floor.
On the first floor, the offices of the notaries are organised in a « tectonic » structure, transparent and open to the landscape that dominates the rooftop terrace, in continuity with the surrounding environment.
To the south, the parking is positioned in one of the original parcels, separated by a low wall that conceals the view of the vehicles from the outside, leaving the view of the trees beyond.
Team: architect group leader Stefano Sbarbati, technical feasibility study Laboratoire de structure I+A, Louis Choulet ingénierie and Matthieu Ecallard