Espace Mayenne is a multifunctional facility including a large sports and entertainment venue with a 4,500 people capacity, a gymnasium with a climbing wall for international competitions and a conference hall. In addition to these three main venues can be found other spaces, such as partner lounges designed as modular rooms to receive guests during games or shows, as well as offices and cloakrooms for artists and sportsmen. Outside the building, the project is completed by a 670-space parking lot, a landscaped area and a 250-meter-long cycling ring for national competitions integrating a training track in its center.
The building is located in a former military site bordering the French city of Laval, along the D900 urban ring road. The landscape heritage of the site is remarkable. It is composed of a natural area - marshes, woodlands and wet meadow - and an old bocage grid with sculptural trees and sunken lanes, which are all entirely preserved. The façade is like a skin wrapping itself around the rooms, resulting in a shifting shape that constantly changes depending on the viewpoint. It is composed of three horizontally stacked stripes that deform themselves in order to envelop the volumes as tightly as possible. These three ribbons overlap and rotate around the building, generating fluidity, unity and movement.
The lobby is designed within the interstitial space between the three main venues. Its organization allows a fluid circulation of the different public flows according to various scenarios of occupation - the three venues can be in use at the same time or not. The lobby is characterized by its inverted conch-shaped volume and its acoustic ceiling made of wooden boards. The building has two ground floors and is organized so that the different types of flows - public, sportsmen, technicians, artists, staff and partners - are clearly separated.
The functional organization of the building responds to its multiple uses. The design of the convertible grand hall is induced by its need for versatility as it must be functional for shows, concerts as well as for sports games. While sports events require an arena system where the spectators are sitting all around the field, concerts and shows require a frontal system with a stage.