French architect Paul le Quernec breaks the architectural boundaries while being within the restricted boundaries in his most recent cultural centre project in Mulhouse in eastern France. Built on a plot area of 1, 250 sq. metres surrounded by residential structures, there was very little scope to extend the limits due to pre determined spaced allocated for structures such as apartments, a public square, park and children’s play area. Instead of a conventional structure, Paul le Quernec employed triangular geometries in the building’s form that have resulted in a faceted volume whose angled lines offer a dynamic structure within this traditional small town close to the Swiss and German borders.

“A socio-cultural space embodies the spirit of initiation and solidarity. Such a building has an unifying role in the same way as a local church does. The only difference here is that it does not necessarily meet the believers, but ‘people who believe ‘. Hence, it is important to create a structure with expressive architecture, a symbol of the profound transformation of the area.”

The ground floor consists of two parts that can be operated separately or together. They are intelligently aligned with each other at the edges of the plot, and twist upwards to the next storey. In addition, a good amount of importance is given to the efficient orientation of the visitor in the building by implementing many transparency effects and see-through views. Moreover, these openings provide quality day light into the heart of the building. While approaching the site, one is invited by an access point that is vibrantly coloured in magenta, that carries over the height of the two floors–the upper level featuring a walk out patio that is protected by a monumental grid overlooking the main piazza in front.

This cultural centre in Mulhouse is a bold addition to the rural landscape of this small town, offering a new meeting point for the community that serves its social needs.











Paul le Quernec