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Provins - Police Station

  • Provins [Seine-et-Marne]
  • 2010
Completed
Western façade (Photo Luc Boegly)

Western façade (Photo Luc Boegly)

(Photo Luc Boegly)

(Photo Luc Boegly)

Façade details (Photo Ameller & Dubois)

Façade details (Photo Ameller & Dubois)

(Photo Luc Boegly)

(Photo Luc Boegly)

(Photo Luc Boegly)

(Photo Luc Boegly)

Westerne façade (Photo Luc Boegly)

Westerne façade (Photo Luc Boegly)

Inauguration day (Photo by Frederic Allinne / Ameller & Dubois)

Inauguration day (Photo by Frederic Allinne / Ameller & Dubois)

Inauguration day (Photo by Frederic Allinne / Ameller & Dubois)

Inauguration day (Photo by Frederic Allinne / Ameller & Dubois)

Back façade (Photo Luc Boegly)

Back façade (Photo Luc Boegly)

Green roof

Green roof

Courtyard in the evening

Courtyard in the evening

First floor access to the elevators (Photo Luc Boegly)

First floor access to the elevators (Photo Luc Boegly)

Front desk (Photo Luc Boegly)

Front desk (Photo Luc Boegly)

Work in progress (Photo Ameller & Dubois)

Work in progress (Photo Ameller & Dubois)

Competition perspective rendering (2008)

Competition perspective rendering (2008)

A building seen at once as a link, an institution and a new city gate

Holding cells, reception, administrative offices, gym.

Located on a triangular parcel next to the entrance to the city, the Police Station of Provins is part of the creation of a new civic center close to the historic neighborhood.

Situated along the length of the Place du 29e Dragons - the planning of which was also part of the project - the police station is on the edge of what is essentially a residential zone within proximity of the Northern gate to the medieval city of Provins, on a site which was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2001. This highly symbolic position gives the building an important status: it was expected of it to maintain the continuity between the residential quarters to the North and the historic center of the South, while being worthy of such on all its faces, including when seen from above.

This urban continuity is encouraged through the use of a single continuous base. From there, a compact form rises, lifted off the ground, highlighting the presence of the building in its environment.

The base - which includes the retaining wall, the ground floor and the parking lot - is on the outside a concrete wall covered with local white stone. The green roof helps soften the building when seen from a higher point. Artificial lighting, integrated within the outside wall, punctuates the base. This sheath cinches the functionality of the building with an air of nobility. It ensures its protection and a cultural link to the city's history.

The stories seem suspended above, emphasizing the contemporary character of the project and clearly reaffirming its vocation as an important public service. The lifted form contains two plateaus freed from each other, filled with various modular offices and locales. That leaves space for a continuous glass sheeting of the outside surfaces that filters natural light through to the offices via transom windows. The more confidential quarters are wrapped in thick concrete, pierced here and there with glass openings to let light in. The front (or Western side) faces the promenade, and is made of glass dressed with copper slats angled slightly downwards, making it an extension of the roofing surface. Its treatment, in contrast with the thick mineral sheeting of the other three facades, emphasizes the frontal aspects of the police station, both open to the city and protected.

The building is seen at once as a city gate, a link and an institution.

This compact building favors the synergy between services while letting them be independent. The operational costs are reduced and the building materials require little maintenance. The metal slats of the principal facade ensure natural lighting and spectacular views as well as good solar protection while maintaining the confidentiality of the work going on inside. This metallic wrap has been set 60 centimeters from the facade to leave a path for maintenance crews.

The patio and the loggia that run alongside the promenade bring light and some plant life to the heart of the police station. The central patio is a reference point and a meeting place that serves as a cohesive element between the services; it lights the interiors further, creates transparencies, and breathes in some space.

The construction kept in mind the evolution of the building, relying on structures held up with posts and beams that would result in flexible interior spaces which would be easily reshaped. Services can be added, relocated, enlarged all while conserving the spatial structure, natural light and the fluidity of the general organization at each level.

CLIENT
Ministère de l'Intérieur et de l'Aménagement du Territoire

ARCHITECTS
Ameller Dubois

ENGINEERING
AR&C (structure), INEX (fluides)

COST EXPERTS
A.E.I.

BUILDING CONTRACTORS
Dumez Île-de-France

SURFACE
2.130 m2

COST
6.7 M€ HT

COMPLETION
July 2010

Contractor
Ministère de l'Intérieur et de l'Aménagement du Territoire
Location
Provins [Seine-et-Marne]
Dates
2007 - 2010
Surface
2130 m²
Budget
6,7 M€ HT
Architects
Philippe Ameller et Jacques Dubois. Avec Guita Maleki (concours), Marie Warburton, Arne von Seidlitz (études), Renaud Djian (architecte d'opération).
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