Shopping center extension
    7 882 sqm
    €15.9 M excl. VAT

A result of our participation in the competition launched by Immochan for the contract to restructure the Villebon 2 shopping centre, the project is informed by a singular architectural idea, designed “to create a place, a landscape, and a destination in the territory”. This end is achieved by focusing on the site’s remaining natural traces with a view to developing an artificial tableau designed to create a link between constructed masses, and elaborating a backdrop – a combination of the mineral and the vegetal, a theatre of frames and reflections, a sensitive volumetric composition – onto which the spectator’s gaze is channeled. The challenge was to transform a non-place into a place, to isolate and then express its genius loci. One of the most efficient ways of creating such a place is to focus on the car park which, here, set against a slope, is punctuated with islands of trees and bushes. On the facades, large metal structures foster the effect of a planted hillside; indeed, the various levels are not superimposed but, instead, staggered, providing natural slopes that help to create a landscape. In certain places, large frames present the landscape as observed from the car park, or reversely can be seen as pictures by visitors passing by.

The entire Villebon project can be explained by a single, key term, namely “interweaving”. The metaphor developed here is based on the art of cabinetwork. To manufacture jewel boxes and dressing tables, artisans work on a succession of either partially or totally interwoven drawers and boxes until they produce a dismountable object; we used this approach to create a sort of surprise building that, as it is opened, reveals new secrets as much as it hides them…

This is the Villebon project, a box of secrets, a sort of Russian doll that plays on the relationship between the inside and the outside. The same is true of the interior design, inspired by a “boudoir” – style architecture based on colours and materials characteristic of opulent 18th century bedrooms: pink, coral, varnished wood, and upholstered, padded fabrics.