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Pierresvives
Zaha Hadid Architects

October 22, 2012 /

Montpellier, France

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Photo: Iwan Baan

The Pierresvives building for the department de l'Herault is the unification of three institutions - the archive, the library and the sports department - within a single envelope.

These various parts combine to create a building with a strong single identity when viewed at a distance, but as one moves closer, the division into three parts becomes apparent.

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Photo: Iwan Baan

The building has been developed using functional and economic logic: the resultant design reminiscent of a large tree-trunk that has been laid horizontally.

The archive is located at the solid base of the trunk, followed by the slightly more porous library with the sports department and its well-lit offices on far end where the trunk bifurcates and becomes much lighter. "Branches" project vertically off the main trunk to articulate points of access to the various institutions.

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On arrival at the main entrance, visitors are directed from the lobby to the educational spaces of the archives on ground level; or via lifts and escalator to the main public artery on level one.

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Photo: Iwan Baan

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This artery is articulated all along the facades as a recessed glass strip, with the reading rooms of the archive and library are immediately accessible. Central in this artery and therefore located at the heart of the building, are the main public facilities shared between the three institutions: the auditorium and meeting rooms. These important public spaces form the primary central volume of the grand cantilevering canopy above the entrance.

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The front of the building contains all the public functions of each institution, linked by a linear lobby with an exhibition space in the centre. Above this connective ground level, the three institutions remain strictly separated, each with its own core for internal vertical circulation.

It's conception is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive assertions of our will to create dynamic and fluid spaces. It blends formal geometric complexity with bold structures and an innovative use of materials. Architectural creation involves pushing the boundaries - and I believe that Pierresvives is an excellent demonstration of that./Zaha Hadid

The building was christened Pierresvives, the "City of Knowledge and Sports for all," after Rabelais' words: "I build only living stones - men."



zaha_hadid-pierresvives (19).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsSite Planzaha_hadid-pierresvives (20).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsGround Floor Planzaha_hadid-pierresvives (21).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsFirst Floor Planzaha_hadid-pierresvives (22).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsThird Floor Planzaha_hadid-pierresvives (23).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsRoof Planzaha_hadid-pierresvives (24).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsLongitudinal Sectionzaha_hadid-pierresvives (25).jpgDrawing courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsLongitudinal Section

zaha_hadid-pierresvives (26).jpgPhoto courtesy Zaha Hadid ArchitectsPresentation Model

Facts about Pierresvives

Total Area:

35,000 m2

Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid

Project Architect:

Stephane Hof

Local Architect

Design Phase: Blue Tango
Execution Phase: Chabanne et Partenaires

Structure:

Ove Arup & Partners

Services:

Ove Arup & Partners (Concept Design)
GEC Ingenierie

Acoustics:

Rouch Acoustique

General Contractor:

Vinci Construction

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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