Located in the town of Sens， on a 5-hectare widesite at the edge of a departmental road， the Gem (todaynamed Carrefour) hypermarket is considerably bigger， interms of area， than the one in Ris-Orangis. Its staircasesshapedforms express the internal architecture of the rampsand of the different spaces. The 8% slope of the whole spacecreates， between the east side and the west side， differences ofheights and strongly marked interior spatial variations.
If each place is clearly identifiable， the three parts on the northside， staggered and higher than the rest of the construction， standout even more as they seem to emerge from the ground in an impetusreinforced by the horizontal marks of the formwork planks on the rawconcrete. Here the tilt serves as a reference to the oblique function. Thesethree strips， suddenly disrupted on the east side， shelter a three-ramp systemof 8% incidence for more than 100 meters. Parallel and staggered in termsof plane and level， the ramps come one after another and lead to the shops inarchways all along a continuous path. The first two go up and meet at a commonpoint， while the third one goes down， but two lateral entrances enable thereversibility of the itineraries.
Some horizontal break points， called “stabilizing thresholds” by Parent，punctuate the long and stretched crossing of the mall， which can becompared to a winding hillside road. Here， expression and structure areinterdependent：
“It is the shops that form the visible architecture of the shoppingmall”， Parent says. Indeed， despite their horizontal floors， theshops fit into the inclined planes of the upper ramps whichmeanwhile serve as covers.
Chinese corrector： Yin Qianwen / English translator： Ancia Drocourt /English corrector： Chloe Parent