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ABLC - Public Service Center

"The roof terrace is a public space open to all. It offers a panoramic view on the city. It is both a square and a garden"

Client / Client: Community of municipalities Cingal Suisse Normande
Location / Place: Bretteville sur Laize, France
Area / Surface: 97sqm / 97m²
Year / Year: 2021
Cooperation / Collaboration: ITE, Boulard, Bader, Lexis
Status / Status: On going / En cours

The Cingal-Suisse Normande community, which includes no less than 42 cities in the south part of Caen, wishes to build a Public Service Center in the city center of Bretteville sur Laize, to accommodate new services for the users. The proximity to the town hall will create a synergy between the two buildings and facilitate exchanges.


The site initially proposed by the client was located on the roof terrace of the Town Hall. Unfortunately, due to strong physical constraints (complex accessibility and land below the street level) and structural issue (building foundations not able to accommodate an additional floor) this site was discarded in favour of a second one located in front of the town hall, on the Post office plot. By analysing this plot, it turned out that it offered poor visibility and the width was very restrictive. Therefore, Kitoko Studio offered an alternative by proposing to locate the future building in the landscaped interstice located between the Town Hall and the Post Office. This land, however, was on a slope, connecting the city center to the upper part of the city, and would require part of the land to be redefined.


Previously from the town hall square, there was an urban void between the Town Hall and the Post Office. This gap was filled with vegetation to naturally reduce the steep drop in the land.


This space has been slightly modified with the addition of the Public Service Center building, which is now located in the visual axis of the Town Hall Square and offers a great visibility. The volume is part of the site and fits into the slope of the land.


The building is smoothly located into the site with its curved wall giving it a natural aspect.

The town hall square slips under the volume of the building which defines an awning which also acts as an access hall. The entrance faces the town hall doors to facilitate the transition between both building.


The building facade is in raw concrete tinted in a color like the Caen stone, with windows of different sizes randomly placed to animate the building.


From the street we discover that the landscaped path leading to “rue des Granges” has been preserved, it wraps around the volume. It defines the limit of the building and provides access to the roof accessible to the public. It is a belvedere over the city.


The roof terrace is a public space open to all. It offers a panoramic view on the city. It is both a square and a garden. It could host small cultural events or become a privileged place to take photos with the city skyline as a background.

The space is organised around a continuous planter that follows the edge of the building. It is full of vegetation and occasionally planted with larger trees.


Now the building with its roof terrace actively participates in the landscape revitalization of the city center.


This new equipment does not create an obstacle on the site, it seems to complete the urban fabric.

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