Municipal Offices Lacq, France Property, Rural French Building, Architect
Municipal Offices of the Lacq Region
Contemporary French Office Building – design by Architect Gilles Bouchez
19 Aug 2013
Municipal Offices of the Lacq Region Building
Design: Architect Gilles Bouchez
Location: Lacq, west of Paris, northern France
Municipal offices of the Lacq region in France, featuring a perforated solar shading facade made from DuPont™ Corian® – project by Gilles Bouchez:
photo © Arthur Péquin pour DuPont™ Corian® – all right reserved
Architect Gilles Bouchez has devised solar shading with a difference in Lacq, France
DuPont™ Corian® sheds new light on the design of sunscreen facades
Architect Gilles Bouchez has devised an ingenious and eye-catching solution to the problem of solar gain on the south facing side of his design for the new municipal office building in Lacq, France. Working closely with expert fabricators for DuPont™ Corian®, Crea Diffusion of Metz in France, he has exploited the multiple benefits and high-performance properties of the material to create a finely patterned and ‘invisibly’ fixed parasol which prevents excessive thermal gains while also allowing for a beautiful interplay of shadow and sunlight.
Gilles Bouchez explains, “I wanted to find an aesthetic and contemporary alternative to solar shading for building, a breaking-through solution, something in pure white that would not store heat, open enough to allow the light pass through and views to be glimpsed, robust but without having obvious structure. My idea was to achieve a sense of ‘floating’ panels, which could be appreciated from both the interior and exterior of the building, with an extra dimension created by the movement of shadows throughout the day.”
The Community of the Cities of Lacq (CCL) is a local government institution created by the administrative fusion of 47 different municipal entities within the region. Located in the Lacq Basin, the new centralised office building was designed to visually, practically and dynamically reflect the scope of the brief covered by the CCL: from economic development to education, from housing management to environmental and energy control, and from cultural and sporting programmes to the safety of its citizens.
“The solution proposed by Gilles Bouchez responded beautifully to these requirements, together with solving an important function in terms of controlling the effects of sunlight on the building, and this was achieved with pleasingly original and innovative aesthetics,” says Dominique Bernard, CCL Vice-President, in charge of the project.
The individual facade panels made from DuPont™ Corian® (in dimensions of 3 m high X 2 m wide X 12 mm thickness) were fabricated to fit an external wall measuring 40m wide x 6m high, with a total surface area of 251sq.m. Applied here in the pure and pristine Designer White colour for DuPont™ Corian® the performance of the material in terms of weather, graffiti, staining and UV resistance has been proven in existing installations over many years, but also comes with a 10 year guarantee.
It was important to the architect that the beauty of the facade, with its perforated pattern of random circles in varying diameters, could be enjoyed from both without and within the building, and the solar shading panels also had to work in harmony with the glazed wall to its interior.
Therefore the solution-based skills of fabricators Crea Diffusion were called into action and they developed a special fixing system for the facade, in which vertical steel cables are positioned at 65cm intervals, onto which the panels are then ‘stapled.’ This innovative system gives the appearance of having no visible structure, adding to the ethereal appeal of the installation, and further enabled by the lightweight and easy-to-work-with nature of DuPont™ Corian®.
The beauty if light, both natural and artificial, is fundamental to this design – and the facade in DuPont™ Corian® manages, manipulates and enhances its effects. The high reflectivity of the positive surface area within the sparkling facade prevents overheating from solar gains to the interior – and therefore cuts down on cooling costs and improves occupier comfort and productivity. Meanwhile the negative space created by the perforations allows for a spellbinding interplay of light and shadow, evocative of the dappled effects of sunshine through a leafy forest.
Furthermore, when natural light fades, the artificial illumination to the interior is reflected back into the room by the pure white panels, thus requiring lower levels of electric lighting. Gilles Bouchez has also designed a decorative LED lighting system integrated to the facade, with chromatically adaptable light sources placed at ground level and mid-height, in between the Corian® sunscreen and the glazed wall, and oriented upwards to optimise the relief effect of the panels.
The versatility, workability and proven performance of DuPont™ Corian® has elegantly answered all the key requirements for this project, from aesthetic to functional, while also adding to the energy efficiency of the building. This service to the design is set to be sustained for the long-term, as even if any unlikely damage should occur to the facade, individual panels can be repaired on site in most cases and the freshness can be maintained with a simple high pressure water and detergent cleaning system.
About DuPont™ Corian® (www.corian.com) – The continuous efforts, investment and creativity of DuPont in research and technology, product innovation, new applications and marketing have made DuPont™ Corian® high-tech surface a design tool offering exceptional versatility and almost limitless possibilities. From kitchens to lighting, bathrooms to the skin of buildings, seating solutions to home automation systems, radiators to touch control surfaces, furnishing to fashion accessories, DuPont™ Corian® can be found in an extremely wide variety of products, systems and objects.
DuPont™ Corian® (the whole range or specific types) has received important independent certifications for its environmental performance (such as GreenGuard®, NAHB North American Builders Association, U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System, Scientific Certification Systems, Ecospecifier). Its hygienic performance has also been certified by prestigious independent institutions (for example, by NSF International, The Royal Institute of Public Health and LGA QualiTest).
The environmental management systems of all DuPont plants that produce DuPont™ Corian® have been certified according to ISO 14001. Moreover, as a result of a multi-year improvement program, all plants have reduced to zero any impact on landfill by reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste.
DuPont – DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.
For further commercial or technical information about DuPont™ Corian® in the UK: T: 0800 962 116 E:[email protected] www.corian.co.uk
Architect Gilles Bouchez images / information received 190813
Location: Yvelines, France, Europe
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