Author(s): DLW architectes


By centralizing the locations of the Public Operator on 3 new sites, Nantes Metropole reorganised its waste collection department to bring it closer to collection areas and reduce the flow of lorries.

The Bas Chantenay project concerns the west of the Nantes agglomeration. It houses a hundred or so agents, including 90 field agents for the collection of waste and around ten administrative staff members. The building includes offices and social areas (changing rooms, showers and toilets, resting and meeting rooms) and also serves as storage for domestic refuse collection and other service vehicles.

Located on a wasteland (a former quarry that is backfilled and that serves as a fuel depot), the project adjoins an accommodation area for travellers and a carpentry firm at the entrance of a city that bears the profound mark of large industrial infrastructures and harbour facilities.

Yet the neighbourhood presents qualities that the projects tries to reveal, particularly the urban characteristics of the Koenig boulevard (which leads directly to the city centre and borders the Loire River) structured by its tall aligned trees and the singular presence of the Sillon de Bretagne that forms a 7 meters high granite circus at the rear of the lot.

Without compromising the functionality of these technical facilities, the project draws in the vocabulary of urban architecture to offer a light and urban building that stretches openly and transparently along the boulevard.

On top of the concrete base placed on stilts and under which the staff car-park slides, a vast protective roof crowns an expressive wooden structure hall, offering a wide buffer area into which the project slips, following the principle of a box inside a box.

This heating mechanism, which is completely novel for this type of facility, allows for inside courses and for many different places for convergence and conviviality that are all adapted to the many staff members of the centre and very specific character of their work. The use of wood conveys a warm atmosphere for the leaving and returning staff.

In the background, a long 90 meters suspended canopy that only rests on 3 pillars shelters the storage area for dumpsters. This structural performance allowed by metallic construction fulfils functionality demands and the safety of the manoeuvres of the lorries.