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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
Restaurant in Jacques Brel Lycee - Swan Architects - France
  • Restaurant in Jacques Brel Lycee - Swan Architects - France
  • Restaurant in Jacques Brel Lycee - Swan Architects - France
Restaurant in Jacques Brel Lycee - Swan Architects - France

SWAN - Serge Rodrigues, Ambroise Béra, Joachim Bellemin - France

Serge Rodrigues, Ambroise Béra and Joachim Bellemin created the SWAN ARCHITECTES agency in 2010 in Paris. Since then, the agency has ceaselessly striven to develop wide areas of expertise: housing, facilities, work and production spaces, health-care buildings.

The notions of coherence and unity guide the design of the SWAN agency's projects. Incorporating the projects into the surroundings and landscape is essential: the surroundings become a source of inspiration, and the landscape is closely associated with the buildings. SWAN designs modern architecture that is anchored in the region by using noble materials (brick, wood) assembled in a contemporary way. The sensitive and creative use of traditional materials or standard industrial products is optimised through research and experimentation.

SWAN's constructions have been noticed on a number of occasions: the social housing and public garden built in Bouzy, in the Champagne region, were written about in 2016 in the article "Les centres-bourgs, des cœurs à reconquérir" (Village centres: hearts to recapture) in Le Moniteur; the carefully studied energy performance of the Nanterre sports centre redevelopment was written about in 2016 in the town's newspaper; the re-use and circular economy implemented to fit out offices in Orsay was showcased at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in 2015 at the "grey matter" exhibition. The agency recently delivered a primary school in the Aisne department and a redeveloped Lycée (sixth form college) in La Courneuve, and projects are in progress for the Bièvres equestrian centre in the listed Bièvre valley.

Project Description

Program: Restructuring of a canteen
Location: La Courneuve 93120 France
Client: Région Île-de-France
Photo credits: Charly Broyez
Design: 2012 / Production: 2016
A canteen with no saucepans
How did the architects manage to remove of all the saucepans from the canteen? That was the big question for this comprehensive restaurant renovation. How to restore the former glory of a mass catering space lacking in anything to whet your appetite, without altering the existing facilities... Here are our architectural dietary recommendations.
Sound and light!
Rule No 1. See concrete posts as a blessing rather than a curse, as their role as supporting beams allows us to fully open up the space and let light flood in by systematically removing small windows and replacing them with 3.5 metre-high curtain walls. This "purification" was further reinforced by transversal openings, hidden skydomes, and the use of light wood that stretches from floor to ceiling.
Rule No 2. Regulate the decibels by controlling the lofty volumes and using noise-reducing materials.
The common theme is curves.
Rule No 3. Design the outline of a wavy partition that starts at curve of the dining room's dividing wall and continues along the ceiling. This centrepiece tops off the space with an opulent wave of light wood, whose patterns are based on the existing rough concrete joists.
Tailor the space like a lab
Functionality, hygiene and systematic separation of clean and dirty items are the hyper-technical qualities of a kitchen tailored to handle 400 covers. Its organisation is based on unfaltering zoning between clean and dirty items. Enveloped in porcelain and stainless steel, the pristine white contrasts with the punchy orange that adorns the dining room.
Making the canteen the first choice at lunchtime...


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