France 2017Sora, the Congress Center of Eastern Paris
The project is to design a Congress Center in the strategic place of Villiers-sur-Marne situated in Eastern Paris. Interface of knowledge, the Congress Center combined with an important hospitality program will connect people and reinforce the dynamic of the new district. The project is also a unique opportunity to explore the use of timber for high-rise construction.
The building emerges from the ground as a continuity of the metropolitan garden. The natural slope of the site is accentuated to create a belvedere over the highway and the garden. With its unique shape and materiality, the project forms a lighthouse which represents the Grand Paris East entrance and a new symbol for the city of Villiers-sur-Marne. The Congress Center and hospitality program together with the other tall buildings of the project forms a coherent urban project linking the ground of Villiers sur Marne with the sky of the “Grand Paris”.
For the exterior façade, we decided to express the beauty of the wooden structure protected by high performance glazing. The project absorbs natural light during the day and gives a smooth and subtle presence during the night. For the interior spaces we decided to use only natural materials to create peaceful and warm atmospheres. The undulating movement of the timber fins in the main auditorium will envelop the audience and speakers to give the feeling of protection, a place where time is suspended.