Media Library, Thionville

Designed by: Dominique Coulon & Associés
For client: Ville de Thionville Floor area: 4590.00 M² Year of completion: 2016
Nominated for: Governmental Interior of the Year

21 Thionville Coulon Ass  Thionville42499 © Eugeni Pons Web
© Eugeni Pons

About the Project

This project has the ambition of becoming a new model for media libraries, a place for creation as well as reception. In association with the basic programme, the building includes areas for displays, creation, music studios, and a café-restaurant. The various activities blend into each other, creating a dynamic arrangement.

The facade acts as an unfurling ribbon that serves as a backdrop to the different universes contained in the programme. The hollow and solid sections produce an ambiguity between inside and outside, questioning the borders of the public space. A garden ramp offers another escape route to the outside, leading up to a summer bar, the culminating point of the architectural promenade.

The building rests on a principle of stacking simple systems, each with their own logic - creating tension in the space and in how it is read. The bubbles - cocoons where people are cut off from the other universes - contain very specific elements of the programme, such as a storytelling area, places for playing video games, a plastic arts room, etc.

The multiple routes offer a variety of viewpoints throughout. The promenade turns into a process of revealing the various universes. This sophistication generates a 'plastic acoustic', an atmosphere which re-examines the relationship with the body and fluidity. There is no unequivocal reading of the space; the perception one has of it reveals a complexity and an unexpected richness. It is a place of freedom.

What’s unique about it

The media library brings back meaning to the notion of co-habitation. It even resonates with the teenagers, a demographic that generally stays away from media libraries. The building has become a place-to-be in the town, creating social links with a lot of enthusiasm and interest for the multiple programmes it provides: fine art, music studios, media library, and a tourist information office. It is used by a large number of people – nearly three times as many as expected.

The spatial principle is based on a non-hierarchical superposition of different systems. The columns are not organised according to a legible regular line, but appear to have been positioned at random, even though they literally respond to the requirements of stability. The floors and ceilings of the principal space are made of discontinuous and autonomous surfaces, with gridlines that are independent of each other. The bubbles are the last refuge, the most intimate part of the building. The distance between them depends on their area of influence and on their scale.

Within the building, the ergonomics of the building are called into question, and the place of the body is rehabilitated in a playful approach with a variety of seating arrangements. The unusual texture of the concrete walls in the present music room offers users a sensorial experience. Its uneven - almost organic - appearance has acoustic and haptic properties.

18 Thionville Dsc 6478 Ret © David Romero Uzeda Web
© David Romero-Uzeda
23 Thionville Coulon Ass  Thionville42438 © Eugeni Pons Web
© Eugeni Pons
31 Thionville Coulon Ass  Thionville42404 © Eugeni Pons Web
© Eugeni Pons
33 Thionville Dsc 6529 © David Romero Uzeda Web
© David Romero-Uzeda
41 Thionville Dsc 6609 © David Romero Uzeda Web
© David Romero-Uzeda
Img 7822 Web
© David Romero-Uzeda
42 Thionville Dsc 6632 © David Romero Uzeda Web
© David Romero-Uzeda
37 Thionville Coulon Ass  Thionville42372 © Eugeni Pons Web
© Eugeni Pons
40 Thionville Dsc 6501 Retouché © David Romero Uzeda Web
© David Romero-Uzeda

Location of project:
Dominique Coulon & associés

Batiserf Ingenierie

BET Gilbert Jost

Solares Bauen

E3 Économie

Euro Sound Project

Bruno Kubler

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