CHAI International Youth Hostel by Antonio Virga

December 12, 2017

CHAI International Youth Hostel: The Franco-Italian architect Antonio Virga just completed the International Youth Hostel Overlooking the Valentré Bridge and the Lot River, the CHAI Youth Hostel building is a “beacon,” the new civic heart of a green and recreational zone extending along the banks of the river.

It offers a broad, unobstructed view over this fortified bridge dating from the 14th century, and listed in the UNESCO registry of World Heritage Sites and a link on the historic Cahors discovery walking tour.

The many medieval sites scattered around this ancient town are a major reason for its international reputation. The CHAI was designed in relation with and in answer to the town’s history, heritage and the intersection of the region’s main axes of circulation.

The CHAI is inserted into a context determined by a landscaped scheme designed to ensure its cohesion with the existing architectural heritage. Appearing as a simple stone-clad volume, detached from the ground, its façade bends at street level.

Access to the public space in the lobby on the ground floor is via the transparent area of the façade, that has been designed as a genuine reception area.

The intervention by the offce of antonio virga architecte enabled the re-purposing of the interfaces with nearby territorial axes of circulation and to fully benefit from the presence of the Valentré Bridge and the Lot River, whose banks and history open onto a unique and composite landscape.

In a nod to the town of Cahors, famous for the 25 secret gardens hidden away in the meandering streets of the medieval town, the CHAI also houses a green space at its core. In this way, the CHAI perpetuates a local tradition, despite the fact this garden is not entirely a secret one.

In fact, it is visible from the street thanks to the transparency of the ground floor, which functions as a grand invitation to visit this place.

Project Name:   CHAI, International Youth Hostel

Programme:   Youth Hostel (38 rooms) Restaurants and tourist bureau

project Location:   Cahors, France

Architecture Firm:   Antonio Virga Architecte,

Architect:   Antonio Virga

Client:   Grand Cahors

Engineering and design offices:

Utilities engineering:  BET Cap Ingelec
Environmental consulting:  BET Cap Ingelec
Acoustics:  BET General Acoustics
Structural engineering:  BET Cap Ingelec
Building inspection office:  Veritas

Surface Area:   2,764 m² Usable Surface Area + Terrace of 182 m²

Photography:   Luc Boegly

Comments are closed.