Community Centre in ­Corpataux-Magnedens

In the Swiss canton Fribourg, when two villages were recently consolidated, a need arose for a new community centre. The design is based on contextuality: It seeks to sustain the town’s traditions with respect to form and materiality. The architects sited the new building in keeping with the other important buildings (church, school, dining establishments, etc.): the gable is perpendicular to the street. In front of the entrance is a new village square, its centre occupied by a tree. The pitched roof picks up on the existing formal vocabulary of Freiburg’s farmsteads, which have no overhang whatsoever. The entire building’s outer skin of calcareous tufa emphasizes its sharp-edged appearance. The ­facade incorporates stones of three different widths, and the transition is smooth to the roof’s shingled slabs. As time passes, this surface will host a variety of mosses, and the building will thus take on a natural patina. Calcareous tufa has large pores and can thereby prevent ground moisture from rising up into it, an ideal building material that has been used in this ­area from time immemorial for buildings’ bases and foundations. The stone had previously been provided by a nearby quarry, but the efforts to revive the disused quarry were not successful, and Italian stone was ultimately used. On the outer wall of the backstage is a large window which can be fully opened and thus provides an option for a stage with the audience seated outdoors. Opposite the hall are the conference rooms, administration, foyer, and bar. The colour concept and atmosphere of the spaces present visitors with stark contrasts: The foyer and the administrative area are characterized by concrete painted white and plasterboard walls, light-toned wood veneer and terrazzo with white aggregate, while in the meeting room the mood is set by oak parquet and the dark cladding of the wooden louvers. The lighting concept also works with contrasts. Large spherical l­uminaires shed light on the entrance, whereas neon tubes in the spaces between the louvers supply light in the hall.
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