Preferences

RENOVATION AWARD

University Centre, Cahors France Launch video

Jury comments:

Vanessa LARRERE

Jury comments:

“This project has a very strong connection to the renovation, kept it true to the original. I applaud the team as they used contemporary interior. Certainly, a new life has been breathed into the project. The landscape is pleasant, and it’s a very nice project.”

Architect Agency
ŒCO Architectes

Owner
Syndicat Mixte Ouvert du Campus Universitaire Cadurcien

Technal Metal Builder
Realco

Technal Solutions used
SOLEAL 65 Windows and Doors and GEODE Curtain Walls

Photographer
Kévin Dolmaire

The rehabilitation project of the University Centre of Cahors has made it possible to transform a former girls’ school dating from 1887 into a mixed facility open to the city and responding to the new challenges of higher education. The agency partially emptied the 4000 square meters building to enhance its original composition and adapt it to the new uses of the ESPE, the University of Toulouse - History of Art and Archaeology, and the Resource Center of Canopé.

The wooden floor was replaced by a concrete floor, and the SOLEAL 65 windows and doors replaced the wooden ones. They bring a contemporary spirit while drawing inspiration from the site’s historical regulatory routes. The black aluminium of the joinery, the wood of the ceilings, the natural concrete and the stone walls are raw materials that offer consistency to the project.

Meticulous work has been carried out by the metal builder Realco who manufactures the 74 curved tailor-made windows so they perfectly match the existing stone frames. The joineries are designed with concealed openings. The thin width of the profiles is identical to the fixed frames for an overall unit. Their black tint also reinforces the erasure from the outside view. The thermal performance of SOLEAL 65 window, combined with 50 cm thick stone walls, has made it possible to eliminate any additional insulation system. The durability of the walls is ensured and the inertia of the building optimized.

ŒCO Architects has created a glass gallery overlooking the Garden Court to the west on the ground floor. The GEODE curtain wall stretches over 30 m long and is fitted with 3.5 m high glass panels. Their discreet mullion are hidden behind posts or steel brise-soleil, which bring verticality to the project.  The only contemporary extension of this program is an ‘’H’’ shape, the gallery is the link between the Garden Court and the Honour Court. It opens the shared rooms to the outside and maximises the fluidity of the ways.

Following a historical research work on the evolution and successive extensions of the building, the ŒCO Architects agency decided to place the Honour Court at the heart of the project, which over the years has become a vast car park. Emptied of its cars, it has returned to the students through the creation of an elevated wooden square integrating accessibility requirements. The other courtyard is levelled to become a garden gently sloping down.