Metz Congress Center
Client: Metz Métropole Moselle Congrès (M3Congrès)
Shareholders: Ville de Metz et Metz Métropole
Tenant: GL Events
Representative of the design group, implementation, operation and maintenance: Eiffage Construction
Subconsultant for the technical sections: Eiffage Énergie
Maintenance by Eiffage Services during 25 years
Architect: Wilmotte & Associés
Structural, facade, accessibility, HQE Engineer: Artelia
Building services engineer: Quadriplus
Acoustic Engineering: Peutz & Associés
Landscape Designer: Neveux-Rouyer
Signage: ENT Design
Site: 6,400 sqm
Building: 15,300 sqm
Exhbition space: 210 stands
Flexible auditorium: 1,200 seats maximum
Rooms: 16 committee rooms
November 2014: 1st prize of the competition
7 september 2018 : inauguration
Construction of the Congress Center of Metz
Covering an area of 15,300m sqm, the Metz Congress Centre is located in a changing neighborhood, facing the Centre Pompidou-Metz and nearby to the Central Station. This building is a link between the new Amphitheatre District and the historic center of Metz, two completely different architectural universes. Through its location, the Metz Congress Centre offers a third side to the triangle created by the junction of the Parvis des Droits de l’Homme on the rue aux Arènes, but above all it will enrich the cultural offer and attractiveness of the city.
The project, developed by architects Wilmotte & Associés, is based on four ideas: materiality, verticality, light, and space.
•Materiality: Jaumont stone is a strong component of Metz’s heritage. It is used on the Congress Centre as a tribute to the local architectural heritage. Thanks to the work around this material, the monolithic aspect of the project is reinforced during the day while it appears dematerialised at night. Thus, a dichotomy is created between the heaviness and the lightness of the stone, inspired by the Gothic architecture of the Metz Cathedral.
•Verticality: The use of stone in the form of slender blades covering the full height of the building gives it an airy appearance and offers a rich frontline. The verticality of the project cladding contrasts with its slender volume.
•Light: The treatment of the facade gives the impression of a stone curtain; the play of shadows and natural light lends the scheme an air of mystery.
•Space: The project is open to the city. It works to highlight the local identity both in its architecture and through the views it offers of the surrounding heritage. Public space and circulation within the building naturally bring the visitors to the strategic or emblematic landmarks of the city: views of the Cathedral, the Centre Pompidou-Metz, and the Central station.
The Congress Centre is very closely linked to the Central station. Beyond the local and regional visitors, this strategic location also allows it to attract tourists from the north and the south of France and from abroad. More than just a public reception and event organisation building, the Congress Centre aims to become a site of interaction, attractive and full of life. The accesses are therefore a major issue of the architectural thinking. Particular attention is paid to the piazzas and the departures and arrivals gateway. A landscaped strip will smooth the transition between the project and the train station, crafting continuity between the downtown and the new district.
To provide a strong identity to the building, the work on the facades is very specific. The pattern is inspired by the play of shadow and light that can be seen on the facade of the Cathedral by using a perforated grid layout that blends opacity and transparency.
The project is made of 5 levels: a square, a ground floor, two upper levels and a mezzanine. Each level offers an intuitive programming and circulation at the side, enabling users to enjoy the most panoramic views of the city.
Horizontally, the organization of the building is divided into two distinct parts: in the north we find the exhibition areas, while the south is dedicated to logistical and technical areas, as well as the 1,200 seat auditorium.
Vertically, the relationship between the spaces allows the flexibility to connect some areas together in order to enjoy the building in its totality if necessary. This strengthening of the verticality by the superimposition of functions also conversely allows for events to partition spaces when required. Depending on the chosen uses and visitors, the building allows flexibility to multiply the programme's action fields.