Parc des Ateliers: Les Forges - La Méchanique Générale, Arles, France

Parc des Ateliers: Les Forges - La Méchanique Générale

The „Foundation Luma“ promotes artistic creation in the field of visual arts. The projects deal with the environment, culture, education and human rights.
Its "Parc des Ateliers" serves as an interdisciplinary cultural center on an abandoned industrial site area of several hectares, once built for the maintenance and repair of trains belonging to the French national railway SNCF. Six buildings, including the "Forges" and the "Mécanique Générale", welcome visitors all year round for events, such as the "Rencontres de la Photographie" photography festival in summer.
The public park designed by Bas Smets combines the existing buildings with a new building designed by Frank O. Gehry.
Both architecturally and in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability, the complex was to be outstanding.
Transsolar developed the concept for climate, comfort and energy for all buildings, which combines low energy needs with a high level of comfort for visitors. The result is a system for the supply of energy from locally available renewable resources with low primary energy consumption, also to minimize the use of nuclear energy. Thanks to the reduced energy demand of the buildings, biogenic combined heat and power generation combined with photovoltaics is sufficient for this purpose.

The two existing buildings mentioned above have already been renovated by Selldorf Architects and serve as exhibition, library and workshop rooms. Transsolar developed a context-related and sensitive climate concept for these buildings. Basic principles are maximum natural and minimum mechanical ventilation as well as thermal comfort by means of radiant heating and cooling.

La Mécanique Générale:
Taking into account the local climate and the annually fluctuating visitor density, a sustainable and robust design was developed that meets the requirements of the curators and artists. The activation of the floor creates a high level of thermal comfort and can compensate for rapidly changing loads, and the volume flow of the mechanical ventilation can be reduced to the need for fresh air. The mechanical systems are fully integrated into the floor and are not visible in the exhibition rooms. Natural ventilation is provided via opening elements that are fully integrated into the façade and roof openings. Floor outlets supply scavenging air; the walls are thus completely available as exhibition space.

Les Forges:
The building envelope has been completely renovated, thermal insulation improved and the infiltration rate reduced. The air conditioning and energy concept was adapted to the curators' requirements and provides both natural and mechanical ventilation as an option. The ground floor and mezzanine are equipped with floor activation for heating and cooling. Operable windows and skylights in the roof allow efficient natural ventilation or night flushing to dissipate heat loads and activate the thermal mass. In winter, an energy-efficient mechanical ventilation system supplies fresh air. In summer, cooled and dehumidified supply air can be used if required. The mechanical ventilation supplies scavenging air.
Measurement results show: The concepts for both buildings have proven their stamina during exhibitions in hot summers, offering a comfortable climate throughout.