Location: Corpataux-Magnedens, Switzerland
Design Team 2b Architectes: Stephanie Bender, Philippe Béboux
Design Team nb.arch: Sarah Nedi, Luc Bovard
Photographs: Thomas Jantscher
From the architect. The impression made by the new council offices building in Corpataux is both fascinating and irritating at the same time. On the one hand it has the almost archetypically simple form of a house with a pitched roof, while on the other it is ennobled through its envelope consisting of a carefully staggered tuff incrustation.
The stone used here brings to mind an old tuff quarry nearby and thus also recalls the history of the village. Through its intelligent positioning this public building creates a new square in the village. The simple external appearance with a calm sequence of windows is reflected in the interior in the clear and functional organisation of the different spaces: a circulation zone, offices for the local administration and a large multi-purpose room on the ground floor; cloakrooms and meeting rooms for local associations at basement level.
A clever use of the contrast between light and dark distinguishes the circulation zone from the main hall. The hall is also the ‘pièce de résistance’ of the building. The concept of a building within a building strengthens the impression made by this pleasant and autonomous space. Its dark lined walls are given life by a dense sequence of projecting timber louvers that extend in a linear fashion from the floor to the internal outline of the pitched roof. In general this building manoeuvres its way between the everyday and the extraordinary and is particularly fascinating because here the normal is formulated in a special way, both internally and externally.