Le Puy-en-Velay France 2011
Wilmotte & Associés - Hôtel-Dieu

Technical specifications

Client : Conseil Général de Haute-Loire General Council

Architect and interior designer : Wilmotte & Associés SA
Associate architects : G. Berger, V. Besançon, J. Fargette
Engineer : Technip TPS
Area : 12,500 m²


Programme :
Rehabilitation and extension of the General Hospital of Puy-en-Velay, dating from the 15th century, to accommodate the General Council of Haute-Loire.

Description :
Located at the foot of the Rocher Corneille, the General Hospital of Puy-en-Velay was built by royal decree in 1677. It consists of six buildings grouped around a main courtyard, and is an important part of the remarkable old town of Le Puy-en-Velay.
In 1992, the town of Le Puy and the General Council of Haute-Loire teamed up to issue two competitions with the objective of saving the upper town of Puy-en-Velay by bringing back people and businesses, as well as tourism and culture. Alongside the General Council, the site now also hosts the Economic Development Committee, the Department's Tourist Board and the Council for Architecture, Planning and the Environment. The roof of the old hospital was raised by a capping which enabled the creation of interior volumes that benefit from optimal lighting.
The new building was conceived as a contemporary extension of the existing building and the structures of the old town. The recomposed architectural ensemble thus created a north-south axis with two main entrances: one, the more prestigious, to the south by the main courtyard, and the other to the north for public entry at the level of the main access road. The two stone wings of the hospital's contemporary extension enclose the central avant-corps, which now houses vertical circulation between the floors. The functions of the Seat of the Département are divided between existing buildings and organised as follows: the huge former General Hospital main building, made of stone, houses the staff restaurant and a large reception room beneath the majestic arches of the old Saint Alexis hall. The extension is built against the main building. Set in the old orangery of the General Hospital, the meeting room of the General Council offers an unobstructed view over the Rocher Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe. The councillors’ seats are arranged in a circle within the square plan of the room. Outside this circle, four round columns support the upper slab. Within these is the acoustic part of the false ceiling, made of perforated wood panels. The extension also houses the General Council hall and its ancillary accommodation.
In the surrounding buildings are organised the different work spaces: offices, print room, maintenance workshop, laboratory and technical equipment. This ‘contemporary graft’ combines modernity and integration within a complex environment that is rich in history: modernity, to respond to the technical and multi-purpose requirements of a large public facility; integration, for its use of local materials and respect for the urban environment and a remarkable Unesco World Heritage listed site.

Image gallery

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In relation

Country Hall

Le Puy-en-Velay, France