An urban icon
Arte Charpentier Architect’s designs for this major iconic cultural facility, located on an exceptional site on Calais’ seafront, were awarded first prize in a competition. The ambitious scheme offers unobstructed views of the port to the east, the coast and Risban Fort to the north, and the historic town, the lighthouse and City Hall to the south. With its rounded contours, the conference and performing arts centre provides a strong focal point, guiding and reinforcing the perspective without concealing the sea view. The transformation of the site instantly increases the appeal of the seafront.
An urban sculpture
Echoing the spiral form of the Nautilus, the conference centre’s organic and dynamic architecture contrasts with the orthogonal, static nature of nearby buildings, while staying within a specified maximum height of 15 metres. A single emerging element – made distinctive through its verticality, sleekness and height – serves as a key urban link to its context, contributing to the building’s essential visibility from the sea, port and city.
A living space
As an attraction designed for use all year-round, it includes two auditoriums, a large multifunctional space, a highly-modular exhibition space, two hotels, conference rooms and spacious patios. The parvis plays an important role as a setting for the building’s transparency, offering an extension to the public realm animated by a giant screen and soft, poetic lighting.
– Grand Calais Terres et Mers (formerly Cap Calais) – Communauté d’Agglomération du Calaisis
Project Design Team
– Consortium leader: Rabot Dutilleul Partenariats :
Rabot Dutilleul Construction
– Lead Architect: Arte Charpentier Architectes
– Calais Architect: Abciss-Architectes
– Engineering and design:
– Project name: Congress and entertainments centre
– Address: new route between Gaston Berthe seawall, Avant-port harbour-side and fort Risban
– Postcode: 62100
– City: Calais
– Competition winner: 2015
– Completion: 2017
– Area: 18,000m²