Claude Parent

Centre commercial, Ris-Orangis, 1967-1970

Unlike the project for Sens (1968-1970), in order to determine the outlines of the future shopping center in Ris-Orangis Claude Parent had to take into account the existing urban fabric surrounding the site. Parallel to national highway 7, the site is located near an interchange at the corner of the avenue de l'Essonne and the rue de Provence. From the very first sketches, the idea emerged of separating the parking areas (6 000 m²) from the stores and linking them with a footbridge. The main building is composed of two levels: underground, the technical and storage areas; on the ground floor (3 726 m²), the supermarket (façade facing the R.N. 7) and eight shops on either side of a central way (façade facing the rue de Provence). The blind façades are in coated masonry and supported by a metallic framework. Only the central area and the entry hall are in raw concrete. The combination of these techniques enabled the construction project to move forward quickly because between the launching of the project (February 24 1969) and the official completion of works (October 17 1969), only seven months had gone by. With this project, the Goulet Turpin company (Rheims) completed the development of this high density zone where the company had already built apartment buildings in 1963 (Claude Balick architect). Here, Claude Parent pursued his experimentation with monumentality based much more on the right angle than on the oblique. More than a signal, the architecture becomes a receptacle for advertising. The SUMA signs, embedded in the concrete hooks at the top of the structure are also visible from the national highway 7.            
Audrey Jeanroy

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