Rehabilitation, mixed use… Young architects imagine the hotel of tomorrow

Originality and in-depth reflection on the future of hotels and cities… The winning projects of the Archi Jeunes competition, organized by the architecture agency Valode & Pistre, are in tune with the times. The second edition of this prize, intended for architecture school students and young graduates, rewarded five projects on the theme of the urban hotel of tomorrow and its role in the city. The aim of the prize is to give a voice to young architects on themes related to architectural and societal issues. The winners are awarded a scholarship. The first two winning teams even have the opportunity to join the agency on fixed-term contracts.

The theme of this edition was chosen by Valode & Pistre in relation to the many challenges that the hotel industry must face. The sector is faced with the environmental crisis, recruitment difficulties and the challenge of integrating into its urban environment. Thus, the actors who compose it question the construction, development and operation of hotel buildings and the role that these buildings play for the cities in which they are located.

A specialized jury

To better understand these questions, the competition jury was made up of architects, Marylou Machecourt (winner of the first Archi Jeunes edition), and personalities chosen for their interest and sensitivity to the hotel industry, including Serge Trigano, co-founder of Mama Shelter and Mama Works, and Pierre Hermé, chocolate pastry chef.

“The jury was impressed by the quality of the work of the winners. The theme of this second edition aroused the creativity and interest of the participants in the competition. We received a wide variety of proposals“, told the press Denis Valode, co-founder of the Valode & Pistre agency, following the award ceremony on April 20, 2023 in Paris. For the co-creator of this award, the hotel “has a new role to play in the city, integrating new functions“, such as coworking. The candidates have all been able to imagine projects that meet the challenges of urban development. “The proposals are aimed at different categories of populations, integrating activities that bring a new dimension to the traditional hotel industry. Also, a majority of projects offer transformations of existing buildings, which proves that rehabilitation can be creative. It is not experienced as a constraint, but as a virtuous re-use.

Denis Valode affirms it. The agency intends to hold this contest every two years,”which is very popular with students. This idea of ​​price came to us at the time of the pandemic of Covid-19, when we were confined. The newspapers spoke of ‘lost generation’ to talk about students. They were cut off from the world, left to fend for themselves, and no longer had the possibility of integrating into the world of work. This shocked us and we wanted to give them the opportunity to express themselves“, says Denis Valode.

Archi Jeunes Prize Valode & Pistre Marine Scymczack
Marine Scymczack won first prize in the second edition of the Archi Jeunes competition with her “Totem” project. © Marine Scymczack

“Totem” by Marine Scymczack

Marine Scymczack proposes to rehabilitate “a former silo in Reims in order to rediscover its totem character, a typology that can be found throughout the territory, often in changing urban districts“, explains the former student at Ensa Strasbourg and Paris-Val de Seine. The building would function on different scales, and would contribute to daily life and the animation of the public space by integrating a theater and a place of meetings and culture.

The site would become a new place of reference for the city. “I wanted to get away from the idea that the hotel was linked to the world of luxury. It is, on the contrary, a marker of the territory. Previously, in the towns and villages of France, there were hotels almost everywhere, sometimes near stations, even if today they have negative connotations. I wanted to find the idea of ​​accessibility“, she confides to Batiactu. The skeleton of the silos refers to a concrete cathedral and makes it possible to imagine, according to the winner, a multitude of programs. “Silos are often located in abandoned urban areas. By infusing this hotel program into this type of building, I wanted to revitalize these currently neglected territories.

Marine Scymczack wanted to preserve the existing as much as possible, although new recycled concrete floors and glass pavers would be added. “Working on the rehabilitation of an existing abandoned, unoccupied building, rather than building others, is close to my heart“, assures the winner. A work of revegetation on the roof has been thought out. The space would accommodate a greenhouse, which would itself be connected to the bar and restaurant of the hotel. A system for recovering rainwater and composting waste from the restaurant would be put in. For Denis Valode, “Marine Scymczack’s project is a surprise. The rehabilitation of this old silo is a magical transformation. The building becomes an emblematic place, characterized by an original architecture.

Discover the projects of the other winners in the following pages…

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