It doesn’t just assemble and distribute people, it is also a big winter garden.
Beyond its shape, what is original about the administrative building of the Poitiers University Teaching Hospital is the desire to incorporate the project into a magnificent wooded landscape and to play on the ambiguity that exists in its grand central lobby between inside and outside.
The form of the building is two parallel, E-shaped branches, joined together by a large central space, the Agora or central square. This vast nave is lit by a glass roof that covers its entire surface area and made of inflatable ETFE lenses.
It doesn’t just assemble and distribute people, it is also a big winter garden. The inner parts of each branch contain patios that provide pleasant, outlying work areas with internal distribution using natural light. The central axis also creates interior urban planning, which is apparent in the side corridors, open stairways and overhead passageways.
The volumes are like two white vessels with rounded corners and uneven lengths. The walls are clad in a patterned envelope of rectangular white-aluminum cassettes. In its layout the outer envelope randomly alternates white-metal pixels, reflecting steel or glass in obvious disorder, using this as camouflage to blur the exact location of windows.