Romain Defrang

Romain Defrang

Mediatheque of Ste.Marguerite. ULG Liège (Belgium)

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EAP 2021 Romain Defrang

Mediatheque of Ste. Marguerite - Inhabiting the base

Ste. Marguerite neighborhood, located north-west of Liège, has been recently affected by important mutations (infrastructures, tramway, CHC-hospital departure) which have had consequent impact on neighborhood’s life. Therefore, the population has expressed the need to increase the possibilities of interactions among inhabitants and the public spaces quality. The project questions the area "Ex CHC carpark" which was left vacant due to these changing conditions. This strategic place enjoys the advantages of being located between an animated neighborhood and a peaceful wooded hill.

At the encounter of these environments, a space raised from the street, present on site due to previous uses, reflects the history of the place. The aim of the project was to reuse this existing raised space as a connecting element between the neighborhood and the new mediatheque. This base is an integral part of the urban fabric and constitutes a landmark through its landscape anchorage. It acts as a transitional space between the neighborhood and the hill.

The mediatheque, whose volumetry accords with the built environment and the urban fabric, is implanted at the extremity of this elevated space to create physical links between site levels. The existing base and the volumetry are excavated to create relationships with the public spaces of different heights that surround the project. The volume adapts to the different levels like an organism to establish a constant dialogue between internal and outdoor spaces.

The spatial organization, characterized by a thick perimeter which defines a continuous space gravitating around a central void, reinforces the intention to provide to the users a flexible space with a strong identity.

Views, light and relations vary according to the thickness of the perimeter, which acts as a two-way filter between inside and outside. The mediatheque is therefore a place that opens and is open to its surroundings.

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