Metz Museum by Shigeru Ban

Matisse, Picasso, Miró, Pollock and Brancusi have already moved in and can be admired in their own new home. Shigeru Ban says that in designing the idiosyncratic new construction, he was inspired by the “architecture” of traditional Chinese hats woven from rice straw – albeit on a considerably distorted floor plan. The offices, with their large, smooth windows, were accommodated in the angular transoms of Centre Pompidou in Metz, and appear to have been pushed into the hat. These white cubes were highlighted by the flatness of the Alucobond® elements in pure white. The new 10,000- square metre centre for the arts in north eastern France does not exhibit any collection of its own but makes use of works stored at the Paris centre, which, with more than 65,000 works, owns the largest collection of contemporary and modern art in Europe.

For the City of Metz, the new art centre means so much that it can also be described as the “new Metz cathedral”.


24 Housing Units by Zanon + Bourbon Architects

The program of this residence for mental disable people includes a set of common premises (reception, dining room, office, media lounge) as well as 24 studio flats.

This construction consists of two compact main buildings, carved on their five faces.

The first one, in alignment with Street General Chevert has got 3 levels (R+2). It includes common areas at the basement level, and part of the flats on the above floors. The second block connected to the first building by a volume in REGLIT, only has two levels (R+1) and hosts the rest of the flats. The two blocks are separated by a central glazed
volume offering two living room floors allowing residents to welcome their family.

Facade materials used for housing are ETERNIT panels on outside insulation, drilled by metal frames including lacquered wood windows. The random pattern layout of the fiber cement panels gives a certain flow on the facades, reflecting the movement of the street. The roofs are carved in 3 dimensions and coated with standing joint zinc.

The architectural writing of this project is simple and effective, thus enhancing the volumes of the project and the noble quality of the materials.

Architects: Zanon + Bourbon Architects
Location: Nancy(54) – France
Client: Société Lorraine d’Habitat (SLH)
Cost: € 1.8M
Area: 980 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Olivier DANCY


Redline by PietriArchitectes

The Redline project is positioned opposite Vignettes harbour, which connects Toulon with Seyne-Sur-Mer, behind the Autumn garden. The building is composed
of 3 different spaces, the base and two wings.

The ground floor is thought of as a mass of pressed concrete, shaped by a few openings with little windows looking out onto the car park and the houses’ entrance halls.

The two housing spaces feature long terraces which line their width. These are punctuated by separating walls which serve as outdoor display boards. In the centre of the building, a patio, a belvedere and walkways invite you to contemplate the centre of the block and the coastal landscape.

The project is in the running for the Golden Pyramids 2014

Programme : Construction of 59 housing units
Floor area: 4,300 m²
Budget: € 5.6 million
number of floors: +5
Delivery: 01 2014


Guanahani Hotel by Luis Guillermo Pons

The spirit of the Guanahani design can be defined as a spontaneous gesture of courtesy: A hug and removal of a hat off a head. Guanahani means Welcome in the Arawak language; it was the first word spoken by the natives as Spanish people arrived to America. A hat is an iconic piece that is associated to the outdoors; it offers protection to the head as the roofs provide shelter to a house. A Panama hat represents elegant, sophistication, lightness, flexibility, exquisite craftsmanship and beauty. A Panama hat is a perfect integration of form and function.

Hotel design ideas:

1. Cohesive union
The Sun has become the core of the tropical design over history. The way we have to reflect this concept in our daily clothing is by using a hat that provides us with the necessary sun protection. In our case the Panama hat inspires the quality of the experience we will like to pursue and reflects the values of the design. The design of the hotel translates colonial style by searching lightness and comfort, preserving the sense of memory and traditional craftsmanship.

2. Comfort and lightness
Lightness and comfort define the journey of the smart, sophisticated and adventures traveler. The aesthetic of a panama weave applied to cabinets that sit on a fine classical base creates a light perception in the design. The weave represents laying on the beach while relaxing under the shade of palm trees.

3. Memories
The hotel design is a history of layers; each room seems to have been lived by several owners in different time’s periods. The grandparent once an admiral, now a day’s a fisherman lived with his son – a boat racer – and his grandson – a surfer – sharing the same roof over years. Each room has a story to tell and it is unified by history, gesture s of welcoming and comfort.

4. Branding
Every piece of furniture has been design to create a collection that reflects the spirit of the Guanahani. Night stand, headboard, credenza, bar, lamps, chairs; bench, table, paint colors, pillows, art installation, accessories and objects will show the identity and vision of the brand.

5. Functionality
The furniture has been design as a system of assembly in which the two main components can be change and adapt according to the rooms needs. The base – a classic slick metal platform – holds a series of cabinets and drawers – made out of wood and Panama hat weave – to provide the hotel with a line of furniture that will treasure the journey.In the style of Neo colonial furniture the pieces recreate the image of traveling vintage trunks over a old and slick wood base. The bases are made out of metal to be perceived as light as possible and the cabinets of wood and cover with Panama hat weave.

The new Metz Cathedral by Shigeru Ban

Matisse, Picasso, Miró, Pollock and Brancusi have already moved into their new home and can be admired there. Shigeru Ban says that in designing the idiosyncratic new construction, he was inspired by the “architecture” of traditional Chinese hats woven from rice straw – albeit on a considerably distorted floor plan. Situated in the angular volume of Centre Pompidou in Metz, the offices with their large, smooth windows appear to have been pushed into the hat. The flatness of the pure white ALUCOBOND® elements emphasises these white cuboid forms. The new 10,000- square metre centre for the arts in north eastern France does not exhibit any collection of its own but displays works stored at the Paris centre, which, with more than 65,000 works, owns the largest collection of contemporary and modern art in Europe. For the City of Metz, the new art centre means so much that it can also be described as the “new Metz cathedral”.

Project: Centre Pompidou, Metz, France
Architects: Shigeru Ban, Jean de Gastines, Paris, France
Fabricator: TIM Composites, Cholet, France
Construction: Riveted / Screwed
Year of Construction: 2010
Product: ALUCOBOND® Pure White 10
Photos: HUFTON + CROW/VIEW & Roland Halbe I Artur Images

Courthouse Saint-Malo by LAN Architecture

The court house in Saint Malo, France has become a part of the city rennovation process, in which the centre is being moved from the port to a new location, where the Avenue Aristide Briand forms the central axis. The architects of the French atelier LAN Architecture wanted to create a clean and structured space serving both the public and its proprietors. The simple object of the courthouse with a rectangle ground plan boasts a central space with a large atrium that lightens up the structure and creates a pleasant atmosphere.

The visitors are guided from the outer spaces through interior public areas through a space gradually that loses contact with the outside. The walls are made of thin sheets of onyx that allow the light to flow in during the day and shine out during the night. The interior features three main materials – wood, stone, and glass.


L‘Office 64 de l‘Habitat by Arotcharen Architectes

The housing association, l‘Office 64 de l‘Habitat has built a new company headquarter in Bayonne in southern France. The fact that the building is an ecological example is proudly presented for visitors to see. Green architecture is not merely a theme or topic it is taken literally. Indeed, the slender block of office accommodation, clad in a green ALUCOBOND® façade, looks like a greenhouse thanks to the additional glass frontage on the south facing side. The low entrance building in front of the slender slab has a “green roof” covered in vegetation.

That is not only an image promoting feature, the exterior is part of a climate control concept which, instead of relying on a battery of technological services, prefers natural methods. Vegetation on the roof acts as insulation and stores rainwater. The space between the glass outer skin and the building façade acts like a temperature buffer for the building within. The solar energy collected there is almost sufficient to heat the offices without other WELL-WRAPPED power sources in a mild winter. In a hard winter, two fuel cells are used in addition, and the north and south office blocks can be heated independently of one another.

In summer, on the other hand, heat built up in the offices is primarily prevented by using night cooling and by the switchable glass slats which let the wind in. The concrete construction‘s slow thermal behaviour and the sun protection, which is individually controllable in each office, ensure a natural, consistent temperature in the building. This means that only the meeting rooms require compact, decentralised cooling systems. The architects have focused on simplicity in their choice of
lighting and materials. Good use of daylight, by means of limiting room depth and using glass walls, saves electric lighting. Materials are joined reversibly, the bare concrete surfaces are only partially clad. That improves the thermal behaviour of the building as well as the replacement and recycling options for individual materials.

Project: L‘Office 64 de l‘Habitat, Bayonne | France
Architects: Arotcharen Architectes | France
Construction: Office building
Year of Construction: 2011
Energy standard: THPE, très haute performance énergétique
Product: ALUCOBOND®, Colour: spectra autumn 915
Pictures: Mathieu Choiselat
Plans: Arotcharen Architectes | France

Hotel School by Fuksas

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas have inaugurated a new public building in France: the Georges Freche School of Hotel Managementin Montpellier. The architects at Studio Fuksas were not only responsible for the over all architecture but have also designed the areas open to public: a hotel and three restaurants.

Built on 1,95 hectares , the Lycée Georges Freche hotel-school transforms the landscape and provides it with its own distinct urban identity. The project is a horizontal volume, simultaneously boasting mirrored repetition and unique geometric forms. Although it comprises two main buildings connected by a central courtyard, the architects designed the complex as a single entity. The volumetric complexity, which is evident even inside the building, ensures every room hasits own spatial individuality.

The first building has three floors and includes: the multipurpose room, the exhibition gallery, the administrative offices, the classrooms and the canteen which has exits leading towards the recreational areas outside.

The second two floor building is distinguished by its Y shape.This is where the vocational teaching space and areas dedicated to the hotel and the restaurantare located: a hotel that is open to the public; three restaurants, one of whichis a gourmet restaurant, a brasserie and a teaching restaurant, a bakery and a patisserie.

The gourmet restaurant, the brasserie and the 4-star hotel show case the school’s excellence and are the project’s most important areas. The entrance for the students and the professors is through an arch where as the entrance for the public is located on the other side. The complex’s two buildings constitute a sculptural entity and central hub for the gym, the students’ residence and the management accommodation. The school walls and those of the students’ residence are painted in a different colour on each floor,with shades ranging from yellow to green and from magenta to orange.

The colours serve as signage and means of orientation. The façades of the building have been constructed using 17,000 ALUCOBOND® triangular tray panels. Each panel is unique and carries its own specific bar code so that it can be placed in its designated position in the façade. The interaction between the façades reinforces the dynamic tension between solid materials and hollow areas, between light and the shadows which are an inherent part of the project. The geometric design of the aluminum composite skin is also applied to the 5,000 triangular windows, each one of which is different.

Project: Lycée Georges Freche, Montpellier, France
Architect: Massimiliano and DorianaFuksas, Rome, Paris
Fabricator / Installer: Tim Composites / SMAC Toulouse
Construction: Tray Panels
Year of Construction: 2012
Product: ALUCOBOND® Anodized Look C0/EV1
Photos: Moreno Maggi

source: 3A Composites GmbH

The Dune by Déri Design

“The Dune” was a semi-circular stage with a 36 meter LED showing abstract animations. The wide and inviting feel was enhanced by a progressive animation specially designed for the stand, carrying the emotional message throughout the complete hall with an impressive long-range visibility .

Within the Dune, there were sitting areas with interactive displays, highly appreciated by visitors for working or relaxing on site. A series of interactive “trefoil”-pods delivered detailed information on four synchronized screens.

In addition to the LED stage, there was a wide Hybrid-Racing area focussing on the Le Mans 24h race. While the Wave had a calm, harmonic design, this area created a complete contrast to it,
with hard polygonal edges and a fierce red colour dominating.

Visitors enjoyed a lively experience of Le Mans through a combination of powerful design elements, playful interactions and a dramatic documentary of the 2012 race.

Concept, design and communication (animations, films, interactive) by Déri Design.
Realisation, construction, engineering and logistics by b+s Exhibitions.
Photography: H.G. Esch.

Albi Major Theatre by Dominique Perrault Architecture

A winning design in the contest for the Albi Major theater in France, came from the well known office Dominique Perrault Architecture. The theatre is going to stand at the edge of historic centre where it will become a cornerstone for a new network of public spaces and cultural objects. Simple geometry of the object lines the Général de Gaulle street and creates two roughly triangle plazas oriented towards the new cultural alley.

The concave cube shaped object will be home to a large auditorium, galleries, experimental rooms and a roof garden, where a restaurant will offer views of the cityscape and surrounding nature along with refreshments. Concrete covered with bricks both insides and out were chosen as the main building material. As a contrast to the solid walls, the architects designed a mantle of copper meshwork, which dresses the orthogonoal theatre in gentle curves.


Branched Offices by Projectiles

In May of 2009, the French office Projectiles was contacted by an unusual carpenter. An art collector mesmerized by sailboats entrusted the architects Reza Azard, Hervé Bouttet and Daniel Mészàros with a creation of an office complex that would expand his workshop in Epone, France. At that time two 1500 m² large workrooms, situated 20 metres apart from each other, stood at his property and its back was unoccupied. The architects placed their design between those two objects, effectively connecting them, and further branched the offices towards the unoccupied end of the lot.

The offices are elevated 4 metres above the ground, inside objects of different shapes and sizes, resting upon roughly hewn stilts. The new objects are interconnected by sheltered foot bridges. The office construction, including the window frames, is made of timber. An arboretum with twenty trees of various species turns the office and workshop complex into a very pleasant environment.


Luminous Windscape Pavilion by nARCHITECTS

A subtle pavilion stretched between limestone walls of a medieval castle in a historic French town of Lacoste was a work of art by the New York based office nARCHITECTS. A temporary construction resembling a spider web found its use as a local cultural venue and a gathering place. Main structural elements were white plastic tubes, aluminium reinforcements and 50km of polypropylene thread woven into the walls of the pavilion. Its surface was ever changing, according to the direction of the wind.

The visitors could observe the gentle ripples and even listen to the sounds that the stronger wind made when passing through. Besides providing a place for relaxing and encounters, the pavilion housed many concerts, exhibitions and celebrations. Its beautiful atmospheric lightning in the evening hours, was visible from afar.


Gymnastics building by Heams et Michel

The building of the gym in Tourrette Levens is part of a plot where is erected a secondary school, and a gymnasium. This new building reserved for students and associations is intended for gymnastics and circus. The program simplicity led us to reflect on the plastic side of the project. In fact, the area of study of the circus, put out the physical and moral development, includes a cultural, artistic, and social. The transience of the circus that is assembled and disassembled in cities remains in the collective unconscious. Our project is an allegory of the circus tent.

The idea is simple “a concrete box that was covered with a cloth”. Concealment becomes mystery, and make us perceive differently what was commonplace before. We wanted to create a sculptural object concealed and packed in a skin of
concrete, corrugated as a wavy stage curtain. The yellow ocher color gives the blind walls an expression of lightness heightened by the fact that the stamped concrete does not touch the ground. Because of this, the object, which could have been a simple gym, takes an artistic dimension.

The volume chosen is voluntary simple: a rectangular parallelepiped of 14 meters wide and 8 meters in height in continuity of the existing gymnasium and detached from it by the volume of the entrance hall and deposits, which is less high. By its presence, the project aims to complete the overall design of the existing sports facilities, by standing as a new south gable.

A single material wraps all the facades of the object. It walls are made of a stamped and painted concrete called “draped concrete” with a texture reminiscent of stage curtains. The texture of the drapery is obtained by using two alternating matrices of slightly different patterns, but the same height as the concrete shells, specially designed for the project. Those walls have been casted all the way up, and the self-placing concrete has been poured in a single process so as not to reveal a horizontal joint. The vertical ones disappear in the pattern of the drapery.

Inside the room, a natural light is achieved by the presence of two major openings, not noticeable from the outside, a glass square on the roof, centered on the room, and a horizontal window in the north facade. In this volume, the human scale is found by the calpinage at the bottom (2m50), a bounding of impact resistant OSB panels. And at the top we used acoustic wood wool insulation panels. The ceiling is made of raw concrete. A direct connection to the existing gymnasium was constructed to promote exchanges between the various sports.

By this project, the idea of a building disappears in favor of an object carved in relation to its context and program. The rationale for the staging of such an object lies in the definition of the close relationship between sports, circus, entertainment, art, and social.

Project name: Gymnastics building
Programme: Sport
Location: City: Tourrette Levens; Country: France
Architects: Heams et Michel
Engineer: GL Ingénierie
Client: Conseil Général des Alpes Maritimes
Project area: 240 m² SHON
Project year: 2011
Dévoiement réseaux: La Nouvelle SIROLAISE
Gros OEuvre: TRIMARCO Construction
Etanchéité : GALINELLI
Menuiseries métalliques – Serrurerie: SARL DEGIVRY
Sols Sportifs: MS DECO
Équipements sportifs: ENTRE PRISES
Electricité: EUROPELEC
Plomberie – Chauffage – Ventilation: AQUALIA
Photos: Serge Demailly and Heams&Michel

source: Heams et Michel

Le Loft Des Innocents by Frédéric Flanquart

It all started on a September night in 2009, when we all settled up there, on the roof, or at least what remained of it. The building had been through a major fire a year before. The scene was set. The outlook of this area turned really fast into a crazy challenge: design and achieve a shell-free space with – as reference marks- only half-burned out staircases -leading to the lower level-, a huge scaffolding structure used as a roof, and a 360° view over Paris.

The client wanted something new, ambitious and creative, in order to turn over a new leaf after 10 years spent at the loft. Both concerned about the quality of implementation and about the layout and fitting details, he enabled us to make a true fulfilling experience out of this project.

Not a single inch was missed out, the goal was to conceive an open and welcoming space with as much stowage as possible, while allowing a comfortable circulation. We came up pretty quickly with the idea of a quiet and relaxing place during the day switching to a genuine place of mystery and pleasure at night. The dream came true 18 months later, on December 31st, and the leaf naturally turned over.

A space where the filtered, aimed, tamed light designs the volume. Straight or slanting, geometrically random at times, the work of lines highlights every detail. The loft, a filled with emotions project, combining complexity, simplicity and lightness.

Year: 2009/2011
Area: 80m2
Interior Design: Frédéric Flanquart
Photography: Ludo Martin & Pascal Otlinghaus


Chalet Beranger by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance

The Beranger hut in the town of St Martin de Belleville in France is a small bonne bouche for the eye. Its author is Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, a designer and an interior architect. The building is enveloped by beautiful natural surroundings, situated in the middle of alpine mountains. For any observer, it is clear from the start that, this is not any ordinary, traditional hut, even though some elements, like the visible truss, already hint on something. The main element is a big living room, in the centre of which a strange fireplace can be found.

The whole space is tuned in soft colors, mostly grey and light brown. You would not find any unsettling element in the form of a lively color. Interior is geometrically made not only of right angles, but curves as well. It may be thought that some fragments are even sculpted pieces of art, which is an idea not too far from truth, considering that the author studied sculpture as well.


Le Prado by Maurice Padovani

Located by the beaches of the Prado in Marseilles, this former smallholding flanked by a stable was renovated in three steps. At the very end of the nineties, the young family setting up on the first floor gladly agreed to the two children sharing the same room for a time. The volume is then entirely freed from all its partitions and false-ceilings thus revealing a rich and space-structuring framework. Behind the complexity of the assemblings of beams and joists, the parents’ bedroom slips in; open to the living room and accessible by a metal stairway. The main wall’s top is entirely open and the old staircase, formerly external, is integrated to the house’s volume thanks to the installation of galvanised steel bays which oblique uprights give rhythm to the surface.

A few years later, the couple acquires the house’s semi basement as well as an adjoining outbuilding. This time again, the main walls are wide open in order to ease the passage of light and new steel bays, as an echo to the first installation, substitute themselves to masonry. The “cooking”, “meal” and “living room” functions can there from move down to the entire ground floor. And there again, to guarantee the freest flow between the spaces, every partition is removed. The little garden’s terrace, layed out during the same building campaign is covered with large ipé blades and the same wood, on the same level, is used for the entire semi basement in order to insure a continuance in reading and feelings. The big wall standing between the house and the now linked outbuilding is covered with a gouged mdf wainscot because of a recurring moisture that is impossible to resorb. The installation of this panel slightly apart from the wall creates an air flow that suppresses the effects of humidity. The panel surface’s undulating relief makes it vibrate under the light.

The two children became teenagers, the first floor wad recently and once more completely restructured. The kitchen space, turned into a small bedroom before is now dedicated to two new bathrooms, the chimney is gone and a new room was created under the mezzanine allowing at last the boy and the girl to be comfortably and fairly installed. The stairway leading to the mezzanine, a bare folded steel sheet, icon of the house, was moved onto the new room’s partition and firmly fixed to a structure hidden within the wall. As with the semi basement, a wainscot, above the steel stairs, covers a wall that converts into a lifeline behind the overhead framework. The OSB used for the wainscot, whitened and sanded as for a modest “céruse” (a particular bleaching technique), is used as well for the building of the living room’s bookcase, the wardrobes in the children’s rooms and for all the furniture in the parents’ bedroom. The kitchen is composed of two fully white-lacquered parallel blocks. Both are apart from the walls around them as well in order to give them a status of independent pieces of furniture and not the one of an integrated system. The block in the back, taller and longer, is essentially devoted to the storing of implements, dishes and supplies. The low islet serves as a functional bar for the dish washing, the preparation and the cooking. The islet’s worktop is a simple zinc sheet framed in an aluminium angle bracket which slight gap with the piece’s body accentuates the suspension effect. Two suspended Diesel’s Rock lamps (Foscarini) light the top. At the other end of the islet, the Elica Twin stainless hood complements the device. To serve the extending oak table, the chairs “la Leggera” by Ricardo Blummer (Alias).

The table is enlightened by the short version of Twiggy, the contemporary alternative to Achille Castiglioni’s classic Arco. The hearth is made of three grey cast-iron sheets, moulded for the occasion. Around the antique freit pallets reconverted into living room coffee tables, a Greg couch by Zanotta and two RAR by Eames for Vitra come with another design icon of the fifties in a prestigious leather-and-steel version : Airborne’s AA. This space in the continuity of the kitchen can be used as a space to have a meal as well. To provide for this contingency, An Ingo Maurer Zettel’z was set up to light the scene. Two meticulously restored and perfectly moving workshop lamps complete the lighting device. On the first floor, another Zettel’z lights the living room space for it was, at the origins of the project, the meal-taking spot. The table migrated, the chandelier and its paper keepsakes stayed.


ZAP’ADOS Skatepark by Bang Architectes

A former industrial hall, located in Calais, France has been converted by the architects of french atelier Bang Architectes. The project expands a vast urbanistic renovation initiated by the Moatti&Rivière Architects. The project aims to turn an abandoned hall into a dominant object, that would attract potential young and curious users. The west gable is clearly visible and is, after the renovation, supposed to project a strong signal into the public space.

The original building had a bland, conventional industrial look with a concrete framework filled with precast concrete panels and a roof of cement sheets and its primary use was processing of roasted peanuts. The first step in the conversion was to open up the dark hall, by removing the panels from the eastern and western facades. Consequently additional volumes were installed into the hall, turning it into a youth centre and a skatepark.


Youth Centre in Lille by JDS Architects

Over the past twenty years Lille has become a European hub; a destination for business and congress, a great place to study and live and also a tourist destination. It is a city with a turbulent history of conquest and reconquest, a heritage as an important medieval city and later on enjoyed and sometimes suffered the title of Northern France industrial capital.

Our project emerges from the idea of creating an urban catalyst, accommodating three distinct programmes on a triangular site. By placing a program in each point of the triangle we offer maximum privacy while allowing them a closeness and continuity of space, organized around a garden, like a cloister of calm in the center of the city.

The lifting of the mass of the programme at the corners illuminates and activates the adjacent public spaces and creates a continuity from outside to inside of the building.

PROJECT youth hostel, kindergarten, office
BUDGET 12.150.000 EUR
TYPE Invited Competition
SIZE 6.980 m2
STATUS 1st Prize 2011
LOCATION Lille, France
TEAM JDS, EGIS, Agence Franck Boutté Consultants, SL2EC