The prestigious Equerre d’argent has been awarded to French architectural firm Ritcher & associates, for their design of the Metz Psychiatric Centre for children and adults.

The jury, chaired by Bernard Plattner, Director of the Paris branch of RPBW (Renzo Piano Building Workshop), stated that a psychiatric facility must be a protective place, which at the same time allows patients to reconnect to the world. He lauded the centre’s sensitivity towards the fragile condition of its users and its surrounding landscape.

According to the architects, the building aims to be as open as possible while protecting the privacy of the inhabitants. Although the children and adult sections are completely separate, the centre is designed as a single unit, anchored on a slope and cantilevered towards the distant landscape. While the concrete exterior ensures a sense of quiet seclusion, the interior spaces open onto courtyards, patios and terraces with views of the sky and surrounding landscape.

The award is organised by French media groups Le Moniteur and AMC.

Other categories that received awards were:

  • Special jury prize: Lafayette Anticipations – Galerie Lafayette Foundation in Paris
  • Housing prize: Residence for researchers Julie-Victoire-Daubié in Paris (XIVe)
  • Culture, youth and sports prize: Sports complex in Calais (Pas-de-Calais)
  • Activity prize: Office building “La Marseillaise” in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône)
  • Urban planning and landscape prize: Ecoquartier des Noés in Val-de-Reuil (Eure)
  • First project prize: School cafeteria, Institution Notre-Dame in Pamiers (Ariège)

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