• Programme : Addition to Centre of Contemporary Archives
  • Location : Centre des archives contemporaines, Fontainebleau, 77.
  • Calendar : Competition won : 2005 / Completed : april 2007.
  • Client : Ministère de la Culture / SNT.
  • Architecture team : Hamonic+Masson & Associés. Chef de projet : Katharina Thielmann.
  • BET TCE : Berim (+économist).
  • Photographer : Xavier Testelin, Hervé Abbadie.
  • Cost : 4,5 M€ HT.
  • Surface : 5880 m².

Centre of Contemporary Archives, Fontainebleau

This flagship project is emblematic of your agency’s work. It illustrates quite a few of our formal and functional obsessions. Yet initially the ambitions were minimal – storing 28 km of ‘dead’ archives in a box that does not require any link to the outside world. The building was actually originally intended to be temporary; in the meantime, it has become a permanent fixture. Placing an opaque box in such a wonderful setting is a theoretical exercise. We decided to use camouflage and optical illusion as a way of making the bulk lighter and dematerialising it. Pixelating the site produced the two green and brown shades that dominate the façades. Your perception of the colours varies according to your viewpoint, changing from green to first an iridescent and then a matt brown. It is a precipitate of the surrounding landscape. The interior is extremely practical and inward-looking, and it becomes an architectonic space that can be crafted to your will. The physical experimentation the building’s exterior is echoed in how we handled the interiors. The outward appearance alludes to the art of movement, whereas the interior immerses us in a monochrome world of magenta.