Biocoop Bolquère – Food Trade + Restaurant | Bolquère, France | 2023
[Joan Ramon Pascuets + Monica Mosset]

Located in the French Pyrenees, at an altitude of 1,850m, the project is located in a privileged environment, facing south, with views of the mountains and close to the Pyrénées 2000 ski slopes. The client seeks to integrate into his building the values of the food cooperative Biocoop: spirit of cooperation, transparency, organic and ecological quality.

The challenges presented by the project are to do the best with the minimum ecological sustainability and economy (execution time 1 year and the low budget), to build a heritage integrated in the landscape.

Following the principles of traditional high mountain construction, the building has a compact rectangular shape with a gable roof, very well insulated and with strategically placed openings to take advantage of the sun. Wood is used as a simple, low-tech, energy-efficient material and to reduce CO2 emissions. A sober volume is conceived covered with black larch wood and warm and cozy inside with three-layer pine wood panels. The use of wood improves people’s empathy, allows a healthier construction and reduces the environmental impact of the building, being an ecological and healthy building.

The aim is to merge the building with the landscape and at night become a lantern of light. Feel the landscape from the inside, which is why the south facade is prioritized to locate the restaurant with a large curtain wall that allows, from the back of the shop, to preserve the views of the Pyrenees mountain range with the Cambre d’Eyne .

The commercial and restaurant space is an open and flexible space that is organized around a nucleus that facilitates cooperation between the staff where the access, cashiers, kitchen and bathrooms are located.

The difference in level is solved with the layout of the building on two levels and two opposite accesses. On the upper level is the public program (parking, shops and restaurant) and on the lower level, where one part is buried and the other faces the lower street, the facilities are located there, a premises and a part of the parking lot.

In order to meet the deadline of one year of execution, the building is designed according to a system of prefabrication with an ordered structure. Being located in a seismic zone, the lower level is made with a concrete structure with three longitudinal axes that will support the concrete slab of the trade. The upper level is designed with a prefabricated system with a structure of recycled metal pillars and trussed girders that free the central axis. The enclosures, both on the facade and on the roof, are made with prefabricated wooden lattice panels that incorporate the installation steps as well as the skylights.

The project emphasizes passive energy saving measures, respect for the environment and increased energy comfort.

A space for relationships and meetings between the residents of the village is encouraged, transforming the restaurant space into a multifunctional one for social events, such as plays, conferences, exhibitions, debates… for a cooperative concerned with climate change and the model of sustainable biological agriculture. Text description by the architects | Visit to read more about the project.

Photography by: Image courtesy of the architects