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Author(s): Atelier Régis Roudil

Washrooms at the Lac du Lit du Roi

The project is located within a leisure centre in the municipality of Massignieu de Rives in the Ain (01). It is a small rural village in the centre of the Bugey and at the base of the Dent du Chat, consisting of ordinary architecture and anchored in the Bugey vernacular style. The washrooms are part of a site that is broadly open to the wide landscape, on the edge of a lake along the Rhône river. The site is complex, hostile to any new construction, and has a bucolic atmosphere. An attitude of humility and respect must be maintained.

The primary challenge is to respond to the need to create a better-proportioned site with a more qualitative and rational spatial objective. The main attitude is to protect the area from direct views of the program and thus to make a discrete central space open to the sky while designing a dynamic shape that looks toward its interior. An oblique cross-view is allowed by openings on opposite sides while offering a reading of a well-lit central space. Views of the lake and landscape in the distance are offered.

The central patio bathes the site in calming light while offering multiple perspectives. In the centre, the washrooms are given a social nature through the presence of washtubs, a place where encounters and discussions can occur, in the image of old wash houses in village centres. The thickness of the angle brackets is expressed on a rigorous composition and proportions. The project is framed by the rhythm of the posts to read a rugged facade that draws in light. The openings create a funnel-shaped volume that makes the entrance area unique. On the inside, the relationship with the sky and the rake of the structure express a serene atmosphere.

The project, designed of solid wood, responds to a desire to work with the technical performance and plastic qualities of Douglas fir. The proximity of this natural resource was a determinant element in choosing Douglas fir, as was its natural resistance to moist environments. The skills and know-how of local companies were essential in making the high-quality, simple, well-proportioned, and sensitive design possible.

Through this design, the Régis Roudil studio contributes a reflection and perspective on atypical projects that are still rarely addressed by architects. These necessary and modest programs must also show sensitivity. Rural areas are places imprinted with poetry. The landscapes are changing, emotional, and living. Contemporary architecture has its rightful place in such areas. The studio likes the challenge of captivating and ordinary sites. The essential intention remains to design a measured architecture.

Function : Washrooms