Dynamic wooden roofs
Sports Facilities near Paris by Explorations Architecture
The sport courts are roofed over by a structure made up of glued laminated timber and ETFE membrane, © 11H45/Florent Michel
The roofs of two sports facilities in Vanves near Paris seem related, yet they differ quite considerably. Whether jutting out five metres or displaying multiple curves, the two timber gridded structures impressively demonstrate the design freedom of wood. The respective roof over sport courts and the entrance pavilion containing changing rooms complement the sports facilities at Lycée Michelet refurbished according to plans by Explorations Architecture. The upper secondary school is located in a heritage-listed palace building in the Parisian suburb, and has sports facilities strung out along Boulevard du Lycée in the associated park.
The entrance pavilion with the changing rooms and the caretaker's office, © 11H45/Florent Michel
Roofs that form spaces
The roof structures out of glued laminated timber were planned and prefabricated by the CBS- Lifteam group. The multi-curved gridshell over the sport courts spans an open space and incorporates diagonally arranged GLT elements topped by a transparent ETFE skin. The pavilion, on the other hand, appears as a largely closed casket crowned by a massive roof with an orthogonal beam grid and pagoda-like edges.
The roofing of the sport courts is enclosed within a steel frame held up by steel columns, and is between seven and ten metres high; i.e. varies between the minimum height for the sport courts and the maximum height allowed in the binding site plan. As such it is highest in the middle and is lifted skywards at the corners, meaning that rainwater runs down to the edges and from there into drainpipes integrated into twelve of the steel columns.
The wooden roofing structure is borne by steel columns. © 11H45/Florent Michelt
Heavy pagoda roof
In the case of the pavilion the roof cantilevers out by up to five metres and has upward-pointing corners stabilised by an invisible supporting structure. Designed as a flat roof with skylights, it lies above the actual building and is borne by concrete walls that simultaneously form the walls in the interior. On the outside the pavilion is wrapped in a multilayer timber-clad facade that has no contact with the roof but merges into a recessed, circumferential clerestory strip. As a result, the roof seems to float.
Access to the entrance pavilion, © 11H45/Florent Michel
Roofing detail, © 11H45/Florent Michel
The roofs may make the structures seem like unequal siblings, but the photos are deceptive regarding the differing sizes of the buildings. Indeed, in terms of floor area the pagoda could fit up to six times below the roof of the sports courts.
Architecture: Explorations Architecture
Client: Region Île-de-France
Location: Bd du Lycée, 92170 Vanves (FR)
Structural engineering: EVP
Landscape architecture: Base & 22 degrés
Planning + prefabrication wooden structure: CBS-Lifteam