© Cyrille Weiner

HÔTEL DE VILLE DE CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE

CREATION OF A VERTICAL CIRCULATION CORE

The City Hall building was constructed between 1772 and 1776 on the site of a former 16th-century hospital, as part of the Champagne-city's beautification project at the time to create a genuine provincial capital. The king took on the construction, and the city provided the materials.

Designed by architect Jean-Nicolas Louis Durand, the building's facade is divided into three sections: a front section with six Ionic columns, a pediment, and two wings – all in the classical French style. The pediment is decorated with an allegory of the city. A woman adorned with a crown of turrets is surrounded by putti, which symbolize the treasures of the region: the grapes for the vineyards, and the wheat for agriculture. On the steps, Antoine Lépine sculpted four lions in 1778.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner

Non-compliance with current safety and equal-access regulations did not allow for collective and indiscriminate use of the building. In 2009, the city of Châlons-en-Champagne decided to bring its City Hall up to standard so as to optimally accommodate all audiences.

We chose to create a new circulation core in the courtyard of the building. This contemporary extension takes the form of a glass monolith, the transparency of which allows for a view of the new staircase, which winds around a second structural volume clad in brass, itself enclosing the elevator.

Extensions and restorations make it possible to enhance old buildings by offering them the means to accommodate all audiences.

© Cyrille Weiner
© Cyrille Weiner

This proposal made it possible to resolve a large part of the accessibility and safety issues without having to carry out a major interior restructuring, which would have resulted in demolitions damages to the building.

The stone plinth, the glass facades reflecting those of the building, and the cladding of the structural brass core provide a subtle contemporary touch that, through its materials and colors, blends into its host site. This has inscribed the building into its current time period.

Location
Châlons-en-Champagne
Project type
Extension and Restoration
Program
Administration
Project owner
City of Châlons-en-Champagne
Team
Chatillon Architectes
Budget
2 M€ HT
Timeline
2009-2014