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Quai9, Cultural Center

An impressive all-white shell with etalbond® ACP for a place of meetings and ideas’ exchanges

The customer

A city landmark of strong architectural character, Quai 9 is the new cultural centre of the municipality of Lanester, a city with a long history of maritime tradition situated at the heart of Lorient, France. Close collaboration with AXIMA CONCEPT and subsequent technical audits during construction by Elval Colour engineers, verified that fabrication and installation of the façade was done according to specification, and is what finally ensures its aesthetic and structural integrity for many years to come.

The challenge

Designing Quai 9’s outer shell presented several challenges regarding the durability of the façade. The close proximity to saltwater (less than 1km), the multitude of perforations on its 2000 panels and - last but not least - its large number of panels that are of horizontal instead of vertical orientation, thus being subject to relatively higher amounts of rain and UV radiation compared to vertical panels, all presented a unique problem to be solved.

The solution

Rising up to the challenge, Elval Colour came up with a customized PVDF4 coating built to last the 20-year duration of the requested warranty and beyond. The coils, which were used to produce the panels, were cast and rolled by Elval and coated in Elval Colour’s own coating lines with a marine-quality white primer, an additional barrier coat, then white PVDF base coat and PVDF clear topcoat to maximize corrosion and UV resistance.
All the panels were also coated with white primer on the backside, as this is visible from the inside of the façade. Finally, all panel edges were specially treated with bond protecting agents on site.
Composed of many origami-like facets that decidedly blur the division between its “horizontal” roof and “vertical” walls.
The roof overlay and façade cladding is composed of a complex of 2.000 aluminium composite panels etalbond® (dimension 0.5m X 5m each) riveted on frameworks and on vertical concrete walls. The all-white metallic shell of Quai 9 required rigorous study, planning and execution to transform the vision of its architect Cecille Moga (MOG Architects) into a successful reality.

The results

The building projects a playful ambiance in a manner similar to the creative assembly of the many triangular shapes that comprise its façade. Being the focal cultural, social and associative point of a city with distinct maritime heritage, the design does not fail to evoke ships with white sails at sea.
The predominant sail-shape motif defines the 3D form of the façade, which in turn announces to the visitor the function, the openness, the invitation to a (cultural) journey, the spirit of the place.
etalbond® envelops the entire building. The aluminium composite panels are partially perforated in four different patterned modules and provide exclusively the decorative appearance of the building. This purposeful ambiance is further enhanced by the thousands of perforated motifs that are found in flowing patterns throughout the facade. These motifs distribute natural daylight inwards - during the day - and artificial light outwards during the night.

Project Data

5500m2 of perforated etalbond® façade
3058m2 of covered space
17.8m height
One 1500 seat concert hall
Three exhibition halls
Construction duration 2 years
Official Inauguration September 2017
Architect: MOG Architects
Façade panel manufacturer: Elval Colour
Material: etalbond®
Application: Facade
Country: France
Colour: White


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