Nordic skiing area

Bessans / Savoie

A tranquil presence in an imposing site

The very simple form of the building gives it a serene, silent presence, facing the majestic landscape of the Haute Maurienne. And this configuration is why the site was chosen for the project. The architects’ intention might be expressed as that of “constructing without urbanising”.
The linear configuration and horizontal thrust of the building (which is less than seven metres high, and around sixty long) has resulted in a stretched-out architectural entity that occupies the site, but without dominating it.
Situated outside the village, the Espace Nordique has a solitary, autonomous character.
It faces the slopes and the training circuits, at the starting points of the different trails.

Two-sided architecture

On the village side, the project presents a fairly neutral surface that is largely taken up by a broad sweep of schist (a single plane of almost 1,000 m2). It is close to ground level, just high enough to allow free passage.
Seen from a distance, on the northern side, this surface seems to be almost flush with its surroundings. On the southern side, facing the slopes, by contrast, the building is raised up and open in character. This is a more animated facade, with wood and colour.

An explicit constructive approach

Tectoniques’ credo is one of doing rather than saying. It is happy to let its projects demonstrate the strength of its convictions.
Yellow is its colour, and wood its chosen material.
As practitioners of “dry construction”, Tectoniques’ architects are conversant with processes using wood frames.
They favour, and stand by, this mode of fabrication, which is simple, clean and evolutive.
The Espace Nordique is comprised of a series of closely-spaced porticos, each 1.20 m wide, and clad, as required, in glass, wood or schist.
The architectural form is the explicit consequence of the constructive process.
It avoids ostentation and “decorative” redundancy.

An ecological commitment

It was also on the basis of constructive processes that Tectoniques, right from the start, adopted an ecological approach. The agency has patiently built up its corpus of references, project by project.
Dry construction has been its field of investigation, first in metal, then in wood. An edifice must be sustainable, both within its environment and for its inhabitants.
Dry construction offers advantages in terms of the time required, the precision it makes possible, and its evolutive character. On-site work is limited to the assembly of prefabricated components.
In this particular case, the use of wood made it possible to use local production processes and implementation facilities.
Reductions in a building’s energy consumption are first and foremost a question of optimising its architectural character in terms of climatic considerations and the context of the operation.

Among the main features of this project are:
• its compact nature and volumetric simplicity;
• the closure of the northern facade;
• the quality and depth of the outer surfaces;
• the “climatic shield” that is provided on the southern side by the space between the “inhabited” parts of the building and the slopes.

The building’s environmental performance has also been enhanced by active systems, with, for example, wood-fuelled heating, as well as ventilation using a double-flow system and a ground-coupled heat exchanger.
Other significant points include the in situ management of rainwater and, in particular, meltwater, with a large storage well on the northern side of the building.

Meeting venue and support centre dedicace to une needs of biathletes

Client : Commune de Bessans

Area : 700 m2
Budget : 1,8 M €

Bernard Ducruet (OPC)
Sechaud et Bossuyt (energy, fluids, economy and BA)
Asder (renewable energy support)
Anglade (wooden structure)

Principales entreprises / main firms :

Ossature bois, couverture, façades / wood frame, roofing, facades : Repellin
Gros OEuvre / shell : Gravier
Menuiserie extérieure / exterior carpentry : SMbat
Chauffage / heating : Ravoire

Main products and systems :

Glulam beams in Douglas pine / Purlins and secondary wood frame in solid pine / Larch exterior deck / Background facades in 26mm larch weatherboarding / fa ade facing in larch battens / OSB panels for bracing and partitions / Wood window-frames / Mondo rubber flooring / Fermacell panel wall linings and partitions / Waldman lighting / Wood-energy heating / Double-flow ventilation with ground-coupled heat exchanger / Jaga heating gutter / Rainwater infiltration and melting system