Refurbishment of the Ministry of Defence
Ministère de la Défense / Opale Défense
Ateliers 2/3/4/ (architect + landscape designer) - Egis - Elioth (engineers)
Nature of the project
Large buildings, Tertiary, Restructuring, Landscape design
Refurbishment of the « Cité de l’air » :
Urban and landscape planning, offices and administration
Restauration, conference Center and library
Sports Equipments, child care center, central Fire Department, logistical and technical buildings., data center
Total area 8 ha
Demolished area 13.500 m²
New building area 6.000 m²
Heavy refurbishment area 47.500 m²
Light refurbishment area 109.000 m²
Outdoor equipments area 5.5 ha
Completion phase 1: september to april 2015
Completion phase 2: january 2017
phase 1 : 172 M €ht
phase 2 : 30 M €ht
©Nicolas Fussler ©RichardNicolas-Armée de l'air
Two transformation issues coexist here; a site more than 8 hectares in area but also the now somewhat disparate buildings constructed throughout the previous century.
The transformation depended on two main ideas:
– to make the site a unifying « mat » whilst the visible support of a new, completely pedestrian use of the site; and
– to inscribe this unity upon the buildings themselves.
Cleared of vehicles, the site becomes a vast meadow brought alive by its topography and the large and small building alterations, all decked in a deep brownish rust color. The 3,000-tree plantation, a large water basin, a sculptured staircase reinforce the extraordinary mutation.
As for the transformation of the buildings, it follows an internal logic specific to the typology of each building.
Three main buildings were identified:
– the ENSTA from the 1930s whose rehabilitation demolished the additions that partially disfigured it;
– the base of the elliptical tower with its two radical features – a depth of over 50m in places and the omni-presence of a circular configuration. Without denying it, a new meaning was given by systematically introducing daylight into the center of the mass; and
– the residential tower annex with the same excessive depth defect. There too, inserting a patio has given life to the new program.