The implantation site grows very elongated. The plot forms a very long and narrow triangle. The major constraints in the region are the wind with the mistral which is often violent and the summer sun which for this type of program requiring a lot of asphalt surface can quickly become problematic.

Project name: Agency and road centre in Carpentras (BIM project)
Location: Carpentras (84) FRANCE
Architects: NBJ Architectes (Elodie Nourrigat and Jacques Brion)
Owner: Département de Vaucluse
Project area: 3 274 m²
Project ending: 2020
Cost : 3.1 M€ HT
Photo Credits: Paul Kozlowski

Agence & Centre Routier By NBJ Architectes - Sheet1
©Paul Kozlowski

In addition, the presence of the road complements these constraints with a significant noise contribution for the offices but also all the people working on the site. Beyond that, the site offers some visual insights into the surrounding crops.

The project was entirely carried out with the BIM tool (Building information modeling) for surveys and construction process.

Agence & Centre Routier By NBJ Architectes - Sheet3
©Paul Kozlowski

We decided to offer a linear layout of the building so as to shield the different winds but also the noise of the road. We have separated the plot into 2 entities:

-The road center with all the maneuvering areas, garages, shelters

-The office space with parking spaces.

Access to these two spaces is via a single central entrance, the distribution then takes place once entering the plot.

To give overall consistency to the project, we have set up a network unifying all the elements of the project (height, depth, program, etc.) to form a unitary and coherent whole. This mesh covers spaces such as the washing area or the restaurant terrace to make them sheltered so that they can be used comfortably in all seasons.

Agence & Centre Routier By NBJ Architectes - Sheet5
©Paul Kozlowski

The whole project is worked in metal. Both at the level of scales, of the interior facade, but also of the unifying mesh which is a perforated metallic skin in light tones.

Outside of the building itself the outdoor spaces are extremely important in a road center. All traffic lanes are sized to facilitate maneuvers and avoid hindering others when loading or otherwise. We have therefore treated these spaces with as much care as the built spaces.

The project was entirely carried out with the BIM tool.

BIM is often thought of as software or technology, but it is actually a series of processes or work methods used throughout the design, construction and use of a building. A structured digital model allows collaboration between all stakeholders in a project, either through data exchange, or by allowing intervention on a single model. With BIM, analysis-controls- visualization are performed very early in the design of a project, allowing for better design quality and the detection of problems before construction begins.

Agence & Centre Routier By NBJ Architectes - Sheet8
©Paul Kozlowski

On this project, the objectives of using the BIM tool are:

  • Allow companies to see their professional career secured by the acquisition of new skills, decline and offer appropriate training
  • Support the skills development of companies on site as part of the conduct of an operation in BIM mode and change management
  • Facilitate feedback from the site by providing an overall assessment
  • Provide feedback to as many people as possible by profession and profession

The Carpentras agency and road center project wanted, in an environmental approach, to set up the most optimized photovoltaic installation possible in this building. On the metal roof, the steel tray system is designed to receive flat photovoltaic panels. In the light vehicle parking lot, the shades will be specially designed to accommodate a photovoltaic installation.

On the concrete roof, the panels will be laid flat on studs or with a very slight inclination so as not to degrade the image of the building and its insertion into its context.

©Paul Kozlowski

On each of the media, the intent of the installation and the technical solutions adopted aim to make the photovoltaic project discreet, so as not to damage the image of the Carpentras road center and branch.


Nbj Architects presentation

Created in 2000 by Elodie Nourrigat and Jacques Brion, N+B architects became NBJ Architectes in 2013. Both are graduated of ENSAM and obtained in 2002 a Master of Philosophy degree. Elodie Nourrigat has obtained in 2011 a PhD in Architecture. They are also professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Montpellier (ENSAM). The current structure of the agency brings a structured team of professionals with expertise in architecture, urban planning, sustainable environmental issues and engaging in programs to explore new way of project development. Their projects join different scales, whether architectural or urban. Their work has been recognized through various awards. In September 2008, they were invited to the 11th Architectural Biennale in Venice in the French Pavilion. The same year, they were awarded by the prize “Europe 40 under 40”, price distinguishing the top 40 agencies under 40 years in Europe. The project of the Activity Park of Camalcé in Gignac, was distinguished by the ” International Award 2009 ” price, attributed by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum and the “Coup de Coeur Arcade” prize for the Lez-In-Art housing project in Montpellier. In 2019, the Technical center of Blagnac obtained the “International Architecture Award” awarded by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum.

They carry their education abroad, whether is at Laval University in Quebec City (Canada), RMIT in Melbourne (Australia), Tohku University in Sendai (Japan), College of Design at the University of Kentucky (USA). Invested in the dissemination of architecture culture, they create and organize since 2006, the Festival Architecture Vives, which invites young architects to intervene in the courtyards of mansions in Montpellier city.

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