A major deindustrialization movement occurred in Oloron Sainte Marie during the late 19th century. Dominated by textile factories, the town had lost its sense of connectedness with the river confluence. The Piémont Oloronais changes that. Two walkways connect both river banks on either side of the center, and a large public portico reclaims a rippling, green environment that had been forsaken to industry.
Designed around the original stone foundation, the building is simple, although it is enhanced with light wood screens that permit plenty of natural light. Skylights provide additional daylight, creating a welcoming and airy environment that stands in stark contrast to the dreary monotony of the former factory. Shaped somewhat like a barge, this amazing multimedia center is a testament to the enormous benefits of thoughtful urban reclamation.
+ Pascale Guédot
+ Michel Corajoud