Client : National Assembly
Architect for the National Assembly : Claude Macary
Architect and interior designer : Wilmotte & Associés SA
Landscape architect : Michel Corajoud
Area : 2,000 m²
Fitting-out of public spaces, and construction of an international conference hall. Design of custom furnishings.
The spaces at number 101 Rue de l'Université no longer provided Deputies with the services and comfort they required; the National Assembly wanted a modern space for meetings and communication, which opened to the exterior to welcome public and journalists on a continuous basis.
The task consisted of bringing dynamism and coherence to the entire programme. Organisation of the ground floor of number 101 required the creation of an internal street, extended by a suspension footbridge over a landscaped garden, which formed the connection between the different spaces and number 32 Rue Saint-Dominique, residence hotel for the Deputies. A true inner artery, it enables access to the new 160-seat conference hall, built in a courtyard between two buildings at number 101. The programme for this hall incorporates, in accordance with European standards, all of the equipment for simultaneous translation and shooting for television broadcasting.
Particular attention has been paid to acoustic comfort: the sophisticated design of the side walls conceals translation booths on two levels and meets several criteria. On the booth-side, tinted and reflective acoustic glazing provides sound insulation and allows translators to take in the hall at a glance; it is lined on the hall side by a wall of inclined sheets of glass that ensure sound quality. Ergonomic comfort was handled by the design of custom furnishings made of oak, leather, and coated steel that allow different spatial configurations. Structures are highlighted rather than hidden. All of the add-on elements (walls and ceilings) are disconnected from the envelope to mark the boundary between the existing and the constructed elements of the project. This principal was also continued outside the volume of the conference hall. The choice of materials was guided by a concern with sobriety. The exterior walls are treated with smooth materials (glass and Alucobond) contrasting with the existing raw concrete. In the interior spaces the atmosphere is dominated by the opposition of 'hot' and 'cold' materials (stained oak, plaster, pietra serena, metal, and glass) whose raw states were worked to achieve a certain sophistication.