Designed by Arte Charpentier Architectes & CALQ Architecture
This project for restructuring an existing shopping centre built in 1977 responds to issues surrounding urban and landscape requalification and fits within a plan to redevelop the east side of the city. More than a shopping centre, the project involved creating a new urban space that attracts people to meet and visit, and that contributes to the expansion and enhancement of Cherbourg-Octeville.
Our restructuring and expansion of the existing commercial hub is a play on light, a series of folds, grids, and reflections, a custom-made cladding in which the constantly changing sky is mirrored. The building’s skin comes alive thanks to a semi-opaque fabric composed of thin aluminum and metal tubes that capture and interact with the light.
This exterior cladding offers depth in the reading of the façades, answering the criticisms often made about the opacity of the original building’s concrete wall.
A new, asymmetrical silhouette – sometimes transparent, sometimes reflective – emerges, in dialogue with the Roule Mountain, and in harmony with the vista of the surrounding natural landscape in the background. A sign of the new in the city, the strength and modernity of its architecture speak of the future. Moored to the docks, in pink granite in the midst of the ships, at night it metamorphoses and sails away, evoking the idea of travel.
Architect Firms: Arte Charpentier Architectes & CALQ Architecture
Project Name: Les Eléis
Location: Cherbourg, France
Area: 40,000 SQ.M.
Status: Completed in 2013
Photographs: Alain Caste / Arte Charpentier – F. Castro