Located in a developing industrial district, characterized by a very heterogeneous architecture, the new sterilization center is presented as a simple and clear volume that aligns with the surrounding built volumes. A setback on the south-east facade, serving the loading dock, guarantees vehicle circulation, creates a covered area and simultaneously indicates the main entrance of the building.
On the lower floor, the sterilization rooms and delivery areas are arranged. The layout is determined by the flow of medical devices and personnel; the organization of sterilization rooms around the loading dock optimizes the process by limiting the length of routes.
To offer generous areas and allow a great flexibility of space, all interior walls are constructed in light and the load-bearing frame is reduced to a minimum. In order to meet all the technical requirements, openwork steel beams supporting the roof guarantee the routing of the technical ducts. The exterior walls are designed in concrete to ensure seismic stability and waterproofing in the event of flooding (area at risk). Translucent ceiling elements in the conditioning areas bring natural light into the rooms; a series of generous openings in the façade guarantee views to the outside and the supply of natural light.
On the upper floor, the administrative premises - offices, changing rooms, meeting rooms, relaxation areas and technical rooms - are organized around an outside courtyard in such a way as to create a different interior landscape, capable of creating an atmosphere of calm and conviviality decontextualized from the unattractive exterior views (industrial landscape, disturbances of the motorway). This courtyard is directly linked to the relaxation areas.
The position of the technical center on the roof, exactly above the sterilization rooms, allows an optimal distribution of the technical ducts and to comply with the personal safety regulations regarding steam production, avoiding a separate building for this purpose.
The separate entrance to the technical rooms allows maintenance and meter reading operations to be carried out without disturbing the sterilization process. On the first floor, a wicket door on the front ensures that technical equipment can be introduced and replaced.
The new building, designed as a factory containing very diverse premises, is covered with a unique skin - metal cladding made of folded aluminium sheet - capable of creating a wide variety of light reflections.
Unity and variation give it a certain quality that allows it to establish itself in the built environment without too much detonating.
The facade treatment of the entrance-loading platform area, designed in flat reflective panels, accentuates and indicates the main access by contrast.
The facade construction with a concrete interior wall, perimeter insulation and ventilated cladding makes it easy to achieve the Minergie standard.
The choice of simple and customary construction systems favours economy and speed of construction.
Photos: Yves André