Hôtel des Communes

Les Herbiers, France

2018

Shortlisted – Industry Award

The new Hôtel des Communes (Community of Municipalities offices) is an extension of Herbiers City Hall, a mid-19th century mansion situated in a public park. Its contemporary architecture reconciles landscape, architectural heritage, and modernity. It is an expression of the region’s territorial influence and the high level of local cooperation.

This spectacular building capitalizes on the strengths of its site – the public park, trees, and the current city hall – to insert itself gently into the landscape. The visible sides, which are proportionate to the surrounding buildings, blend into the urban landscape, while its curves and texture make the building a singular event in the town.

The offices are grouped into clusters to create greater work synergies. The curved and counter-curved circulations allow people to walk through the building, or enter the existing city hall, with a sense of continuity – whilst remaining immersed in the surrounding greenery.

According to the architects, galvanized steel was used because it is sustainable and economically efficient. Galvanized elements include the glazed façade posts, gangways along the façade and an external staircase that contributes to the architectural presence of the project – providing visual continuity, colour and light reflection.