In Alixan, at the exit of the Valence TGV high-speed train station, the Ecotox centre is located on a previously undeveloped site. It constitutes one of the first stones of the new “Correspondance” neighbourhood, to be subsequently developed. This renowned institution for research into environmental ecotoxicology and toxicology seeks to dialogue with the surrounding landscape, while also giving momentum to the urban development that will come.
It will accommodate a range of research projects, with a variety of technical and functional constraints, while also including an area largely open to visitors. The project’s ambition is to constitute an identity, based on its varied nature, both for the scientific community and for the Rovaltain site. Like the local farms of the Drôme Valley, which combine buildings for different uses on one property, the collection of buildings at the Ecotox centre are arranged around a garden, a place for exchange and relaxing where the different scientific units meet.
On the scale of the building, the composition of the facade picks up on the idea of sedimentation like that seen in the nearby Vercors mountains. Each group of buildings uses the same system, combining external insulation for high thermal efficiency, metal cladding in hues echoing those of the local landscape, and a system of horizontal slats that provide solar screening and incorporate mechanical ventilation. The varying widths between these slats give a particular vibration to the facade, while meeting the specific requirements of each activity (offices, laboratories, technical areas, etc.). This process gives the Ecotex centre a particular presence, rooted in its context.
Platform for research and expertise in environmental toxicology and ecotoxicity
Drôme Aménagement Habitat, Rovaltain Research Company (user)
Brunet Saunier Architecture
Agc Concept Architectes (operation architects), Rfr Sas (structure), Cet ingénierie (fluids), Elements Ingénieries (HEQ), Cap Horn Solutions (acoustics), Mazet & Associés (economist), Ixans (OPC), Bureau Alpes Contrôles (controle), Bureau Veritas (SPS coordinator), Oikos (landscape designer), Golem Images (renderer)
Bertrand Renaudin (project leader), Charles Bazzaz, Jürgen Fallert, Florian Ligier, Daniel Otero, Pierre Parquet, Joana Skendi, David Tessier