Westbury’s Pick: Sports Centre by Koz Architects
Each month, we take a look at a different architect or craftsman that has inspired us here at Westbury. This month we’ve picked the Sports Centre in Paris.
Head out of the Les Côteaux tramway Station in Paris, and take the second left along the Avenue de Longchamps, where a peaceful row of quaint private houses in traditional Parisian style with Plane trees and steps passes you. At the end of the street, standing proud and protruding the view somewhat is a slightly bizarre and yet beautiful cubist style structure – The Sports Centre by Koz Architects.
Almost imitating a child’s toy in its design, the building holds a simple structure, but uses flashy bright colours to grab attention. At first glance, the Sports Centre looks out of place in the bourgeois St Cloud neighbourhoods, but you have to admire its non-conformist confidence and ability to capture the senses.
The 17,000 square-foot Sports Centre was designed by the local Koz Architects. Beneath the rainbow of colour stands a deep brown hue of load-bearing concrete in thick eight inch panels, prefabricated with a textural wood grain. Originally, the architects planned to use this panel system as cladding, but instead decided to use it improve acoustic performance and fireproofing.
The $5.75 million panel structure was Koz Architects’ first ever prefabricated project, and despite significant challenges, partners Christophe Ouhayon and Nicholas Ziesel said they would use the panel system again, stating “The production aspect is perfect”. The panels were prefabricated in Normandy, following careful drawings and plans, which allowed minimal scope for adjustment. Only the large interior columns were poured on site in St Cloud.
Cheerful and proud, the Sports Centre houses a professional health complex, complete with gym, personal trainers, and physical therapists. Even if you’re not a fitness fanatic, this bold coloured architecture absolutely deserves your full attention.
The goal of the project was to create large, open spaces, separating the fitness areas from the children’s play area. As such the interlocking sections have been carefully configured to maximise the space into these fully functioning, multi-purpose areas. Giant cut out funnels channel daylight into the spaces, giving shape and energy to the activity areas.
From a street view, the exterior panels do not bear any structural load, but instead offer a visual accentuation of the interior. Glazed panels are fixed to an aluminium frame, bolted to the concrete structure, to provide a stunning spectrum of continuous colour.
Spacious adjoining cubes, atop a basic concrete structure, with a fantastic colourful overlay is an unexpected structure to have arrived in this wealthy metropolitan neighbourhood, but a more traditional architectural approach may have simply vanished into its surroundings. The Sports Centre by Koz is well thought out, and provides facilities that appeal to all, while shocking and delighting the untrained eye, which is the reason we have chosen it as Westbury’s Pick.