A new urban space
open to the city
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.
In addition, the project was intended to give a new
image to the Bassins neighbourhood
and create a point of linkage between the east and west sides of the city – between
the Carnot neighbourhood and the historic city centre – so that the new
neighbourhood would be integrated qualitatively and lastingly in the history of
the city, its sailors, and its ships.
With these goals in mind, we conceived this project as
an urban space open to a public square, some pools, and the city. More than a
shopping centre, we created a facility by inventing a new aesthetic form.
A tubular gauze to capture light
Starting from the observation that retail has no
pre-established form and wanting to break away from the constraints of an
existing building that no longer fulfils its aesthetic and functional role, we
created a “ship” designed for harmonious integration into the vast landscape of
rock and sea.
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 walls.
A City Between Sea and Mountains
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.