L35 has won the contest for the renovation and expansion of the shopping and cultural complex “Le Meridien”, which includes the theatre “Le Parvis”, Scène Nationale Tarbes-Pyrénées, promoted by M. Saint Laurent. The new centre will be enlarged by an area of 30.000m2 and will renovate 38.000m2 of its existing surface.
Le Meridien is a cultural and shopping centre reference located in the countryside of the Ibos area in the Hautes Pyrenees. The building, with 65.000m2 of total built area was originally built in the seventies, although it has gone through various changes and enlargements, which has resulted in a rather chaotic and unstructured look both in its interior and exterior areas and that the new project has tried to modify.
From its beginnings, and in order to bring culture closer to people, the centre has tried to combine the different commercial and cultural uses through the presence of the Scène Nationale (second biggest theatre in France). This combination of uses is hardly perceived nowadays, therefore the new project tries to emphasise this added value of the centre by proposing only one access for both uses.
Following the requirements of the developer, L35 has designed a building inspired by the landscape in order to minimise the impact on the environment. The horizontality of the area is reflected in the parallel lines of the building, built with local materials and formalised in an enormous metal gate as a single access located over the main walkway of the centre.
Just like the peaks of the Pyrenees emerging from the horizon, big glass panels show the other accesses protruding from of the building.
The interior has been conceived as a timeless space of simple but strong lines, the main spaces of double height make clear the coexistence of culture and commerce. These spaces are emphasized by the ceiling volumes, the enormous amount of natural light the presence of trees and the temporary exhibitions.
Natural light is a constant throughout the complex and provides northern light in the entire mall and in the squares at higher levels. The ephemeral temporary image is provided by the furniture, the artificial lighting, the signing and painting, all the elements which can be easily renewed.
The entire project, from its volume to the last detail, can be summarised by the search for an environmentally-efficient building, with low maintenance costs, integrated in the landscape, enhancing its main differential feature, the symbiosis between commercial and cultural use.