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Nîmes Psychiatry Hub

LOCATION : Nîmes, France
PROGRAMME : Psychiatry hub on the Carémeau site. 130 beds spread over 6 units 1 adolescents unit / 1 closed unit / 1 elderly persons unit / 3 adult and young adult units
AREA : 9,650 m² work surface
CLIENT : CHU de Nîmes
PROJECT MANAGEMENT : Commissioned architect: AIA Associés Architect co-contractor: Agence Pierre Tourre Engineering and project economics: AIA Ingénierie OPC: AIA Management Landscaping: AIA Studio Paysages Signage: Tahlier Claude Marre Ergonomics: Rainbow
DESIGN : Competition winner 2008
Délais : 42 months
COST : €15.44million excluding taxes
The new psychiatric clinic is located on the north side of the Carémeau site, on the edge of the woods, the plain and close to forested hills.
Welcoming individuals with widely differing ages with a wide range of pathologies, and offering them a generous living space which promotes exchanges and communal life, while maintaining comfort and intimacy - these are the major challenges for the project. Integrating the project architecturally and in landscape terms also constituted a leitmotif and formed part of the High Environmental Quality procedure.
The architecture tracked the movements of the terrain and the banks of the Cadereau. The clear-cut volumes of the psychiatric clinic highlight the spatial readability provided by the three entrances which pierce the base. The care units are nestled on the terraces and the pine forest to the south, the exterior spaces are moulded to the folds of the terrain, tracing the walled gardens which shatter to fit the scale of the built environment.
The building offers a meaningful and emblematic main façade facing north towards the town, while the side and rear façades bury themselves in the forest. The landscaping of the roofs completes the integration of the building into the site. The mineral base anchors the building to the ground and sets off the stone of the retaining walls and of the clapas on the site. The upper areas are dressed in wooden slats which blend into the surrounding colours. Large glazed bays light the circulation and communal areas.
The interior layout prioritises the readability of the spaces and visual comfort by providing natural light to all of the living areas. Large patios breach each plot and diffuse light filtered through sun-shades which protect the more exposed bays. 
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