The Rouen médiathèque, conservator of an important heritage of documents, is established in an outlying area that is relatively poor, sparsely populated and difficult to access. It is also in the throes of urban renewal.
A problematic situation is thus created, and the médiathèque is clearly expected to become the driving force of this urban transformation. One might therefore imagine a building that stands out, which has a dynamic form and which will challenge its social context with its openness and transparency.
On the contrary, we felt it more suitable in this difficult context to imagine a building that was both mysterious and sophisticated. An alternative construction, that opens and welcomes without being familiar, over-seductive or patronizing.
The médiathèque, entirely white, is inarticulate. It is mute, it is sophisticated. The cladding resembles porcelain- one wants to touch it, to go inside.
Inside, as the project required that everything interconnect, we designed floors in the form of strips that are superimposed and asymmetrical. The shelving, built round the perimeters, does not hinder the view at all, but accompanies the movement.