The Savoie Métropole hospital complex in Chambéry is an “urban” hospital on a built-up site, a stone’s throw from the city centre and historic old town. The project is the fruit of a meeting between the “monospace” hospital concept, developed by the practice, and a particular context. It is a monolithic plate, pierced with little internal courtyards, which folds at the centre to accommodate the constraints of the site. By occupying most of the buildable footprint permitted by planning restrictions, the project manages to remain relatively low – equivalent to four storeys – and develops a silhouette that is not just in perfect harmony with the Chambéry skyline, but also partially perceptible from the neighbouring streets.
While the monolith is structured by an axis running through its full length to ensure the distribution and prioritisation of flow, it also uses its “wiggle” to incorporate in the fold an outpatient unit, the heart of tomorrow’s activity. This is animated by its own reception and accessed via a dedicated hall over four levels that accommodate consultation and function testing areas.
The building is covered in a screen-printed glass skin, unifying and perfectly smooth, light and almost ethereal. A skin that nevertheless changes according to orientation, the lights that it captures and the surrounding buildings and landscape that it reflects. With a simplicity of built form, it contributes to the plain-speaking image of the hospital complex, one of great serenity and content simply to express the modernity of the treatment it offers.