Multiple Functions in Synergy
The Health Center program of the Saint-Étienne University Hospital comprises four specific functional units inside an apparently perfect monolith: the Faculty of Medicine and its research department, the university medical library, the Regional Institute of Medicine and Sports Engineering (IRMIS) and the Saint-Étienne Engineering and Health Center (CIS) of the School of Mines. Each of these entities affirms its personality while benefiting from a new synergy.
Fragmented and pierced, the monolith expresses its teeming internal life
From a distance, the south façade, which can be seen from the tramway exit, "stands out against the mountain like a piece of the world. The horizon is above the building and designates it as a simple, unique object in the complex landscape of the university hospital. This internal permeability creates an overall unity," states Michel Rémon.
Indeed, the depth of the building volumes becomes apparent upon approaching this compact prism. And it is by exploring it that the visitor discovers its library and its patios, created on the ground floor through a clever arrangement of openings. On the first floor, through the "urban window" formed by alternating heights, the architect has framed an unexpected view over the side buildings.
To this vibration of scales, the architect has added the kinetic array of black and white bands that cover the south façade, he surprises the eye once again by contrasting these aluminum sun screens with the larch cladding of the other three façades.
"At night, the light of the interior patios becomes apparent: the illuminated slots outline the subtle internal composition of the building."