long-stay care unit

Chambéry / Savoie

Les Terrasses de l’Horloge is the name given to the new extension of the Hôtel Dieu hospital in Chambéry. It is a long-stay care unit for 80 elderly, dependent people. This resolutely contemporary building stands respectfully beside the old one.
The objectives were the residents’ quality of life, operational optimisation and an uncompromisingly ecological approach. Right from the start, the ambiance was intended to be like that of a leisure area, as a contrast with the care programme. The project is a manifesto of sociability, with an architectural identity that is immediately recognisable from the outside.

An architectural style with broad, sweeping terraces

The main, T-shaped building has been grafted onto the existing structure, and sets off the striking classical entrance to the Hôtel Dieu. The first requirement was to create a pleasant, stimulating environment that would be different from the usual image of hospital accommodation.
The southern and eastern facades open onto the gardens. There are terraces 2.40 m in width, for use when the weather is clement, with privacy and protection from the summer heat. These intermediate volumes, between the inside and the outside, connect up with the patients’ rooms, but also with the living spaces and the dining rooms. They are available to residents who are not mobile enough to go out into the gardens, providing them with views of the town and the mountains.
Large windows maximise the incoming light, and give the residents views of the exterior even when they are in bed. They open fully, which has the effect of considerably enlarging the space.
Warm yellow and orange tints were chosen for the facades and blinds.

Horizontal and vertical folds

The load-bearing structure in reinforced concrete, using a post-and-beam system, makes the buildings highly adaptable, and satisfies the most stringent French norms for hospital premises.
The light, non-load-bearing facades have wooden frames and brackets in Douglas pine from the Beaujolais region. The southern and eastern facades have horizontal folds, while the western facade has vertical folds that give it a sense of depth and offer lateral views that are more interesting than the frontal views.
The slenderness of the brackets accentuates the overall sense of lightness.
The approach is centred on a “build simple” principle, though “simple” does not denote “minimalist”, but rather a compliance with budgetary discipline.
The first consideration was adaptability, and a potential for evolution is one of the major principle of eco-construction. The choice of materials is also central to an ecological approach. The wood was locally sourced, or had been awarded Forest Stewardship Council certification. The insulating material was defibred, petrified hemp, a material that gives both thermal and acoustic absorption. No paint, varnish or other coating was used in either the facades or the roofs, which are maintenance-free. The covering is a vegetational complex that plays a role in rainwater retention and insulation, both thermal and acoustic.
The environmental quality of the project favours the users’ quality of life over technology for technology’s sake. It has to do with crucial points like natural light, thermal regulation, ventilation and acoustics. Hot water is provided by solar panels, and airtightness by external insulation. There are underfloor spaces, and air conditioning using a ground-coupled heat exchanger.

A T-shaped building, with an optimisation of the internal configuration

The wellbeing of users, patients and carers in hospital premises is increased by the reduction of distances. The ground floor has a reception area and activities rooms, along with a unit of 20 beds. The first and second floors are divided into two sub-units of 15 beds each, following a similar principle: the living spaces and dining rooms face south and east, and they open out onto terraces.
The classical hospital corridor has made way for more specific, habitable spaces. The walkways, galleries, halls, terraces, common areas and pergolas give the project a distinctive structure and occupational style. For the staff, this convergent form of organisation, the ample width and the visibility of the units from the shared areas considerably improve working conditions. These spaces are largely illuminated by natural light, and their character goes from privacy to sociability.
Particular care has been devoted to the bedrooms, which are 20 m2. The ergonomics of the bathrooms, which take up a large proportion of the space, is suited to the needs of handicapped, dependent people.

Gardens to live in

The extension has gardens both to the north and the south.
The rehabilitation department, all in wood, is situated in the northern garden, which is more inward-looking.
The southern garden marks the entrance. It has a gentle slope and a friendly feel. It has gradually become the heart of the project, because it links up the existing building, the reception area and the activities room in the extension. It represents a new type of lifestyle, while reinforcing existing patterns of movement and creating a strong core comprised of the reception, the gallery and the garden. The landscape makes a natural transition between the outside and the inside.

80 and 30-bed long-stay care units on the site of the Chambéry hospital centre

Surface / Area  4296 m2
Coût travaux / Budget : 7 M € H.T.

Maître d’ouvrage / Client : Centre Hospitalier de Chambéry

Architectes / Architects : Tectoniques
Ingénierie / Engineering : Sechaud et Bossuyt, Cholley Minangoy 
Bureau de contrôle / Supervision : Norisko

Photos: Christian Michel

Main firms

Gros oeuvre / concrete frame : Langain / Ossature bois, couverture, façades, protections solaires /wood frame, roofing, facades, solar protection : SDCC / Menuiserie intérieure / interior carpentry : DDM / Menuiserie extérieure, protections solaires / exterior carpentry, solar protection :
Oriel / Chauffage / heating : Ravoire / Fluides médicaux / medical fluids : ALS / Étanchéité /weatherproofing : Smac / Revêtement de sol souples / interior rubber flooring : Décosol / Électricité electricity : Noval Elec / Cloisons / partitions : Sud Est Plâtre

Main products and systems

Ossature primaire béton / Ossatures et habillages extérieur des façades en bois douglas naturel /Panneaux de façade en fibres bois : Trespa Météon gamme Métallics / Platelage des terrasses en
bois thermotraité / Menuiserie en bois du nord / Occultations stores exterieurs Soloscreen / Toiture vegetalisée extensive type Tecflor-Ecoflor sur revêtement d’étanchéité de toiture jardin Alpaflore /Sol souples Tarkett / Salle de bains mur et sol : PVC aquarelle multisafe granit chez Tarkett / Fluides médicaux ALS / Gaine tête de lit Médiva chez TLV / Éclairages LED dans les circulations et comme éclairage de veille / Raccordement au réseau chauffage urbain par sous-station / Traitement double flux partiel (hors chambres) et puit canadien par centrale traitement d’air de marque Systemair / chauffage par le sol chez Viessmann / Production ECS par des capteurs solaires Dietrisol chez de Dietrich. Primary structure in concrete / Frames and facing of facades in solid Douglas pine / Woodfibre facing panels in Trespa Meteon Metallics / Thermal treated Larch exterior deck / Window-frames in northern wood /Soloscreen outside vertical blinds / extensive Green roof by Tecflor-Ecoflor on garden roof weatherproofing Alpaflore / Tarkett rubber flooring / Bathroom floors and walls covering in PVC Aquarelle multisafe granit by Tarkett / ALS medical gas / Mediva bedhead by TLV / LED lighting system in hallways and as stand-by lighting / Connection to central heating by a substation / Partial double-flow ventilation (except bedrooms) and ground-coupled heat exchanger by a Systemair air treatment central / Viessmann floor heating /Dietrisol solar panels for hot water production by Dietrich.