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Mediatheque, Paris

Part 1 Project 2003
Emma Favretto
Christopher Bungard
University of Portsmouth UK
This project explores the idea of a landscape building within an urban park in Paris. A form has been created through the ‘peeling back’ of the parks skin and by the placement of a volume underneath it, much like a person pulling back a duvet and getting into bed. This skin extends beyond the roof and forms part of the park, drawing the movement of people up and over the building. The external form as well as the interior environment changes as the sun follows its daily path with the semi-transparent roof filtering light into the mediatheque creating light and warmth. As you enter into the depths of the building ‘dark’ spaces are created which house the digital media facilities. The sensation of being in the underground darkness contrasts with the light airiness of the traditional library sections.

The project examines various scales: urban, building and human. A ‘Parisian’ boulevard dissects the site, creating two contrasting parts. A series of formal buildings incorporating affordable housing and commercial units sits opposite the mediatheque drawing further activities and movement through the park.

Along one edge of this boulevard sits a row of sculptural park seats that integrates the free flowing form of the mediatheque with the rigid forms of the housing. This ‘urban seat’ is a place for contemplation, it is a sculpture in the parks topography, its function is to entirely accommodate people as it expands on the idea of the park bench. The duality of the form gives the option to sit and watch, or venture onto the ‘wave’ skin and lie down forgeting about the city.

Emma Favretto
Christopher Bungard

I get the impression that Chris is a late developer.

I tutored him for the last project in his third year and he was outstanding. The concepts and ideas personally promoted were enough for the whole studio. He was therefore the catalyst for the group. He demonstrated a mature understanding of the challenge of the programme and his approach was intelligent and brave. The models he used to comprehend the spaces and junctions were exceptional and his exploration of options and variations were both sensitive and rigorous. It came as a surprise to me that his previous work fell short of architectural ambition that this programme exhibited . He has certainly outgrown the office experience he had with W. S. Atkins!

Dr Glen Hill
Sir Colin Stansfield-Smith
• Page Hits: 2492         • Entry Date: 07 August 2003         • Last Update: 18 August 2014