Co’met brings together three distinct programs in a new and powerful architectural image. The Arena, the convention center, and the exhibition center come together in a spectacular sequence along the southern entrance to Orléans. The whole constitutes a vast multifunctional facility, a unique tool for sports, culture and events. By installing the functions in a way that is both distinct and continuous, Co’met drastically changes the perception of the entrance to the Orleans metropolis.
As a counterpoint to the large functional volumes, the image of Co’met is all lightness and clarity. Its identity comes from what is there and not elsewhere. The subtle atmosphere of the banks of the Loire, a Unesco World Heritage Site, inspired a fluid and soft architecture. The undulating drape of the facade envelops the Arena and extends out over all the facilities. The image is unitary but punctuated by the variation of curves that play with the variation of light and the changing sky. By floating in front of the buildings, the façade creates transparencies, suggests silhouettes, and offers depths of field. It is not an architecture that is exhausted at first glance, and the impressions one has of it are constantly renewed.
At night Co’met is metamorphosed by subtle lighting and it is a completely new image that appears. The entrance is under a large open-air canopy. It connects the urban forecourt on the tramway side, and the Bois des Montées, an existing preserved piece of forest that installs the presence of nature at the heart of the visitor’s experience. Landscape and city correspond in a noticeable dialogue.
The 10,000-seat arena is designed to be modular and adaptable to all kinds of cultural and sporting events. The convention center is a direct continuation of the arena and the exhibition center: numerous scenarios for combining all or part of the spaces offer a unique tool that will function all year round. The project is part of an ambitious sustainable development approach. It is the most efficient sports program in France in terms of energy consumption. The volumes are entirely treated by geothermal energy. The construction shows great frugality: the design of the facades is based on lightness and therefore on the use of the least amount of material.