Media library of Septèmes

Offices + Equipment

Media library of Septèmes



Project managementMunicipality of Septèmes-les-Vallons
Surface2 765 m2
Cost 1 800 000 € HT
Project managementLead Architect: Caractére spécial
BET Fluids: B52
Building economics: R2M
Acoustician : IGETEC
Photographic Credits+IMGS


Making a refuge for a place of culture here is a strong act. Both political and civic. It is also a form of hope, intelligence and dignity given to each person who lives here. It is a way of saying that the city should not put itself in a system of self-defence but that it shares, transmits and exchanges itself.

It is not so frequent to see a commune promote a media library as the first operation of a vast urban project. A place dedicated to everyone and to culture at a time when the budget of the Ministry of the same name has never been so low and when the slightest square metre of so-called urban project consists of making the office that empties every neighbourhood of any form of urbanity.

Here, then, we want culture to be said and asserted, culture to be seen and shown, culture to rest and oppose, culture to be staged and put on stage, culture to protect and give itself. Along the car track, below the railway line; the site is strong and lends itself to imagining what it could be... The stage wall is the cliff, the show is the industrial buildings facing it. It is not possible to think of this equipment as a single piece but rather as one of the constituent elements of this new landscape, both urban and natural, which will inevitably have to "re-become". At its heart, the media library opens onto a garden like a calanque dug out by the wind. There is no water but endemic plants that have gradually found their place and that will be preserved. There are also large bays on the sides to invite the light and the glance to slip in. Both are guided by concrete sails which also protect the necessary intimacy of certain places.

Two times are distinguished, two universes. The first where we are passive, physically, we need peace and quiet, perhaps a framework, the second where we become (re)active, our mind as well as our body goes in all directions, more lively, in movement, almost without defined limits.