Sports facilities

Cannes. Francia

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Palais Omnisports- La-Bocca

RFArq. Roberto Ferreira y Arquitectos Asociados. Roberto Ferreira, Eliana Crubellati, Thierry Maksimovic y Mario Klachko

Description Technical file

The Palais Omnisports of Cannes-La-Bocca, with a seating capacity for four thousand people, is characterised by its octagonal volume with a Corten steel roof interrupted by large glass enclosures that open on to the outside. The programme is established in a highly compact principal volume of polygonal configuration that houses the great Omnisports hall, devised for suitable closeness between the public and the sports activity being undertaken; and a second volume, prismatic in body and powerfully longitudinal that houses the trampoline and warm-up rooms and rooms for the use of schoolchildren, as well as the press and VIP areas, the Club House and the maintenance and security services. It is important to point out the relationship established between these two blocks with regard to the communal equipment, and between these and the immediate urban surroundings, as they will all form part of the so-called Cité des Sports.

The Sports Hall of the city of Cannes is structured on the basis of an architectural and functional dialogue between two main elements or volumes, completely clad in their facades and roofs in Corten steel, a material that needs virtually no maintenance and remains stable over time. This steel develops a patina and is made from weak alloys such as copper, nickel and chrome. It is highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion thanks to the formation of a superficial oxide patina that over time acquires a dark brown colour and is frequently used for cladding facades and open-air works.

The main volume, with its highly compact polygonal configuration, surrounds and houses the great Omnisports hall inside it.
The second volume, with a prismatic body and powerfully longitudinal, highly flexible in its organisation, houses the trampoline and warm-up rooms and rooms for the use of schoolchildren, as well as press and VIP rooms, the Club House and the maintenance and security services.

Another dialogue is superposed on this one, one established between these two bodies and the exterior space, which is materialised in multiple interpenetrations between the building and its immediate surroundings, rearranging the urban space and configuring a new landmark that helps to create the new identity of the «Cité des Sports».

The great hall and the annexe
The great polyvalent hall, which seats four thousand spectators and is composed of the sports pitch and the surrounding grandstands, constitutes the principal space of the project and embodies the singular look of the Sports Hall. The hall is literally the central space of the building; through it all of the elements in the programme start to make sense and establish a significant and principal relationship.
With its main axis in an east-west direction, it adopts the shape of an octagon elongated in the grandstands, a geometric shape that permits a better layout and connection between the public and the sports space. An ascending counter-shape delimits the space of the hall. The natural light that comes in through the roof is artificially reproduced at night, flooding the sports area without reflections and keeping the public in some degree of darkness.
A perimeter ring at two levels surrounds the hall: the ground floor, destined for the restricted passage of sportspeople and sports hall personnel, links up the sports pitch and the suite of changing rooms and areas that support the sports activities. On the upper level, the ring is formed to allow the public to circulate.
These superposed spaces that surround the great hall shape an intermediate space between it and the Corten steel shell that protects it and translates on the exterior the configuration of what it conceals and protects. Its analogue shape and its various faceted planes of light and shadow reflect like a diamond the permanently variable light from the sun as it travels from east to west.
The building is firmly south-facing, opening a mouth through which the exterior penetrates the building, and rises in the east and west, with balcony spaces where the interior opens on to the outside. This organises a multiplicity of fluid or controlled transitions between the great hall, its shell and the place that ensure the mechanism for the insertion of the building in its surroundings.

The annexe, a prismatic longitudinal body, is “contaminated” with the formal characteristics of the principal box, with twisted edges and planes in its lesser sides to the east and west, giving formal unity to the suite of buildings.

The architectural, functional and urbanistic option adopted finds its ultimate justification in the perspective of the recommendations linked to High Environmental Quality (HQE), High Energy Performance (HPE) as well as the fact of having taken into account both the exploitation and the maintenance of the building.

The formal compactness of the project, the minimisation of the facade and roof surfaces, the functional clarity of the whole, the flexibility of organisation –based on the principle of delimiting areas of similar characteristics that make possible an independent and simultaneous use of the different spaces and activities, the systematic use of natural ventilation and lighting systems as well as the adoption of construction systems and materials that minimise maintenance and provide maximum thermal insulation and hermeticity, etc are the basis for the project decisions adopted.

Urban insertion of the Cité des Sports
The Cité des Sports has been the backdrop to our analyses and thoughts on the project. Because of its urban location, the building is configured as one of the most significant «gates» of the Cité des Sports, constituting a landmark in the system of relations between the various sports facilities that shape it.

Our main concern, when it came to designing the building, was to integrate the project into its urban context and connect it to the future functioning of the Cité des Sports. A system of flows and movements structures the Cité on the North-South axes, which must be “woven” through a transversal system that allows the users and public to be channelled to the different facilities.
The architectural complex composed of the great Omnisports hall and its annexe is articulated on these master guidelines, allowing us to establish a suite of diverse relations with the place in which it stands. The main mouth of accesses opens to the south and east to take in the main flow of movements of the public from the parking areas. A new public space running in an east-west direction is shaped with regard to the Maurice Chevalier Athletics Stadium, giving access to this facility and to the annexe of the Omnisports hall. This axis extends to La Frayère through a parallel system of walkways that preserve the existing forest mass in their separation spaces.
The space that covers virtually the entire perimeter is totally open, thus configuring a central exterior space connected to the other sports facilities.
The covering of La Frayère, which has liberated space to the south, helps to create the central zone, announcing the access to the Omnisports hall.

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Emplazamiento: Ville de Cannes – Alpes Maritimes. Francia. Autores: RFArq. Roberto Ferreira y Arquitectos Asociados. Roberto Ferreira, Eliana Crubellati, Thierry Maksimovic y Mario Klachko, arquitectos. Colaboradores: Diego Spanevello, Xavier Geant, Florent Collin, Nestor Crubellati, Matthias Aubin, Olivier Morani, Anne Mottais, Emmanuelle Navarro, Nina Fessler, Xavier Bellomo y Maxime Verot. Constructor: Campenon Bernard Méditerranée / Eiffage. Promotor: Ville de Cannes. Asesores: Beterem Ingénierie y Beterem Infrastructure. Fotografía: Serge Demailly.
Roberto Ferreira
Eliana Crubellati
RF Arquitectos Asociados
Mario Klachko

Thierry Maksimovic

Serge Demailly
La Cadierè d'Azur, Francia