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“Sports complexes are often the ‘poor cousins’ in architecture,” summarises Régis Barrot, architect with the Cauris Architectes firm (92).
However there are exceptions, and the Tennis Club of Pontoise is one of them. Composed of eight courts, of which four are indoor, the brand-new building benefited from a generous investment of 4.5 million euros.
This allowed the Cauris Architectes firm to imagine a quality building, with a polished design composed of spaces adapted to practicing sports and enjoying breaks after the game.
The Cauris Architectes firm designed a building composed of rough materials: “The lower part of the exterior cladding is in lacquered, pseudo-Corten galvanised steel; the mixed frame structure is in galvanised steel and laminated wood painted white with the base in stained exposed concrete,” completes the architect.
But this resolutely minimalist composition does not exclude conviviality and the quality of the sports practice, much to the contrary. Recognised for their know-how in sports facility construction and attentive to create “projects that add value to architecture designed for the practice of sports,” the firm designed warm, open interior spaces.
The building is articulated around four interior courts distributed along an internal street that divides the building in two. This totally glazed, transparent street offers a panoramic view allowing the players to circulate and watch the different games and interact. “To reinforce the ‘Club’ spirit, we chose a large wood terrasse that extends from the interior and opens out onto the river below thanks to the large, glazed openings” explains Régis Barrot. And in this way associates effort…with comfort.
A sense of light
Other than the attention to the distribution of the spaces, the firm also worked particularly on incorporating natural light while preserving the aesthetic unity. As one might think, the lighting (whether it be natural or not) is a central element in the practice of racket sports.
Intent on preserving the possibilities of natural light while reducing glare, the firm implemented several types of Danpalon® perfectly adapted to this type of constraint. For the two facades located in the back of the courts, the firm specified opaque Danpalon® cladding of opaque-white colour, so that the natural light does not enter directly in the sight line of the players.
On the other hand, the two lateral facades are handled with Danpalon® Opal Softlite finish, that allows the natural light to penetrate in a diffused, homogenous manner. The natural lighting is supplemented using the roof covering with the installation of two 1600 m² sheds, treated as well with Danpalon® Opal Softlite finish. “This choice, pushed by technical constraints, does not undermine the aesthetic of the whole since from the outside, the four walls of the building are perfectly harmonious and this despite the differences of the handling of the facades,” completes the architect. At nightfall, it’s the upper part of the building that lights up, including the roof. To the great delight of passers-by and above all, the players!
Mairie de Pontoise