Cultural and Social Center of Valence

The project speaks of a strong urban presence, with an institutional façade that aims at establishing an harmonious dialogue with the adjoining public square. Of major importance is its centrality in the neighbourhood, asserting itself as a meeting place for young people and the general public.

At the heart of the project is the atrium, around which different activities are organized; during opening hours, it is an extension of the nearby square.

The atrium provides flexibility for its users; the space is neutral, non-objectified, available for appropriation. Created with the building’s future occupants in mind, it allows for extensions of activities in the shared spaces on the ground floor, as well as being suitable for a variety of events.


A multi-functional climate roof covers the whole space:

The large canopy symbolizes both protection and openness, using an airy and horizontal language. Covering all four sides of the atrium, it projects assertively over Place des Aravis.

The support structure and photovoltaic solar panels offer protection from summer heat while capturing the sun’s energy.

The part of the roof covering the atrium is retractable, making the atrium both a thermal regulator and an indoor-outdoor space whose ambiance changes with the seasons and the activities taking place there. In the summer it is an open-air space, in the winter an oasis of light.

Viewed from the square, the large outdoor patios and raised loggias are like picture windows that showcase the activities happening in the centre. From the inside, they frame the urban space and offer a different perspective on the centre’s surroundings. These terraces connect the atrium and the city, striking a balance between interiority and openness.


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