Author(s): CAB Architectes



It is the tip of the city of Nice, the extremity. When you slide under the motorway towards the hinterland, when you’ve driven along the abandoned banks of the Paillon and gone past the incinerating plant, you’ve arrived in Ariane, a beautiful name for a berated location. Beyond the city we find villages at the bottom of the valley. On the other side of the river lays a fast lane behind anti-noise walls, then the railway, and then the road.


A local elected said that they would build a futsal on the car park with the abandoned carcasses. There was a competition for an ambiguous project: the futsal would have to mutate in a large multi-sport hall. We wanted this facility to bind the city with the river, between artificial and nature. We did all we could to place it perpendicularly to the banks and the road. We won on an ambiguity, by offering a large area on the roof.


The hall is buried at the level of the Paillon, a stone river with dried-up meanders and with brutal river works that dialogue with the facilities. The play area in the riverbed escapes the city. Visitors enter the edifice at street level on a mezzanine from which they watch the players, participating to the new intensity of this project.


In the dense city, East/West facing streets frame the tree-covered hills. Being in Nice means finding oneself between mineral and nature, yet in the valleys, the “corridor” urban design prevents views over the landscape. The futsal anchored in perpendicular to the river and the road perfectly illustrates the need to let the eye run from street to river, from the river to the hills….


In the distance, the motorway viaducts leap over the valleys. On the roof, a concrete arcade defines the play area and speaks to the surrounding hills. The small temple of sport echoes its structure poured on site with the motorway bridges and puts into dialogue the players of the Ariane with their territories and their sky.


The concrete comes from the nearby plant and was moulded to talk to the summer sun and low winter ray. Smooth on the outside, structured inside, it creates the essential drama. Simultaneously soft and hard, it aims at being both resistant and welcoming for all those who will draw some pleasure from hitting a ball, one eye fixed on the stones and the willows of the riverbank.

Open up a site

The alluvium bank was dug up to tank the volume into the ground, like they say in the south. This founding act puts into relation the city and its river, offering an opportunity to expose locations that were once hidden from everyday sight. The incrustation of the project triggered the revelation of the site and its exposition.

Programme : équipement sportif de quartier