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The “Les Godets” leisure centre, which was built on a vacant lot covered by scrub, is a facility for children, part playground, part adventure park. It is made up of a series of small buildings with a range of functions: meeting places, locker rooms, reception areas for “little” and “big” children, the caretaker’s house and a main building that houses a multi-purpose auditorium, kitcherl, dark room, sick bay, and administration office… In other words a programme where the architect was able to indulge his taste for the eclectic and the picturesque; with a playground that makes fun of the mystique surrounding sport, a sequence of small boxes treated in diverse vocabularies including cupola, barrel vault and bishop’s mitre, a building that is plantlike on one side and strictly geometrical on the other, a welcoming house for “little” children that follows Bachelard’s typology of cellar/living room/attic to the letter but with each element drawn separately and set on the same plane, and odd openings, and framings of a landscape that was left untouched as far as was possible. The project unfolds like a children’s book or a comic strip for toddlers.
Olivier Boissière in Jean Nouvel: Jean Nouvel, Emmanuel Cattani and Associates, Éditions Artemis Verlag, Zurich, 1992