Located in Paris, the Victor Gelez Community Center makes a bold statement on it’s street corner location. The curving facade is accented by bricks that become bleached the higher the eye travels. Built in 2014 by Dumont Legrand Architects, the center is a place for dancing, sculpting, painting, and discussion. “We intended this space to reflect its purpose,” Dumont told ArchDaily. “The design is simple: an interplay of subtly curved brick walls containing this depth of multitude within.”
The community center sits on a corner and acts as a bridge between the geometries of two different streets. The first street has buildings less than 3 stories tall, and the intersecting street has buildings that range from 5 to 7 stories.
From whichever direction you reach the site, you are on a narrow road which does not allow you to take a step back from the building. This dimensional constraint consequently reveals a dynamic perspective of the façades. They gradually come into view as one approaches, instead of being seen from any chosen perspective or static position. Their curved architecture enhances this movement with fluency.
That transition effect works on a Y-axis as well, thanks to the brick facade. From the architects:
Brick was chosen due to its prior existence on the site, how it accompanies the curvature of the four strips which make up the façades, and its gradient effect. The material gradually transforms. At the base it is dark, solid and urban, then, as the façade gradually rises, the first shade pixellates then softens in the fuller sections formed by the deep dance studio. It then lightens in reflection of the Parisian sky, blending up into it. The gradient effect also reflects the transition in the height of the neighbouring buildings, with the upper part of the darker bricks at the heights of the Ménilmontant blind alley. The effect is simple and playful, giving the community centre its identity.
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