A new urban space open to the city
Situated alongside the Bassin du Commerce in the heart of Cherbourg, the scheme is one of a number of flagship projects forming part of a programme of large-scale urban renewal of the east side of the city. The project for the refurbishment and extension of a shopping centre was intended to give a new image to the neighbourhood surrounding the docks and create a point of linkage between the east and west sides of the city, between the Carnot neighbourhood and the historic city centre. As a result, the new neighbourhood would create a link to the lasting history of the city, its sailors, and its ships.
With these goals in mind, we conceived this project as an urban space oriented towards a public square, the adjacent docks, and the city, and which contributes to the expansion and enhancement of Cherbourg-Octeville. 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. Sculpted and faceted like an iceberg, the translucent shell (reminiscent of an upturned hull) seems to float over the dock, creating a strong landmark for the town, by day as well as by night. The form speaks of the future and of travel to far-off places.
The new envelope offers a vertical dimension to the façades, designed to conceal the existing volume and create a visual relationship between the quayside and the hills beyond. Reflections from sky and water play over the surface of textured glass and metallic membrane.
With a floor area of 40000m², the building comprises a ground floor level with 75 boutiques and an upper level with 1100 parking places. 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 aluminium and metal tubes that capture and interact with the light.
This exterior cladding offers depth to the façades, answering the criticisms often made about the opacity of the original building’s concrete walls built in 1977.
– Client organization: Financière Duval group
– Developer: CFA Grand Ouest
– Assistant developer: Alamo Rennes
– Architects: Arte Charpentier Architects / Calq Architecture
– Civil engineering: ID+
– Structural engineering: ID+
– Building services: Barbanel
– Fire safety systems: Barbanel
– Facades: Terrell
– Glazing: Terrell
– Inspection: Véritas
– Health and safety coordination: Véritas
– Project address: Quai de l’entrepôt
– Post code: 50100
– City: Cherbourg
– Delivery: 2013
– Project programme: design of a shopping centre in the heart of the city
– Surface area: 40,000 m²