Boasting strong architectural character, Quai 9 was built in 2017 as demand for a cultural hub in the French municipality of Lanester grew. An area with a history steeped in maritime tradition, Lanester sits in the heart of Lorient with the River Scorff as a border to the east.
Designed by Cecille Moga of MOG Architects, the project turned to leading coated aluminium manufacturer Elval Colour to produce and install the building’s striking façade, providing Quai 9 with aesthetic and structural integrity for years to come.
To ensure the durability of the building’s façade, project workers faced several challenges. Not only did the outer shell include around 2,000 panels each perforated to evoke the sails of a ship at sea, but many of the panels were to be positioned horizontally, making them more vulnerable to the adverse environmental effects of rain and UV radiation.
Additionally, Quai 9’s close proximity to the saltwater river, presented the risk of accelerated erosion.
To realise the origami-like vision of Cecille Moga, the building was to blur the barrier between the vertical panels of the walls with the horizontally-designed roof. Elval Colour manufactured around 2,000 etalbond aluminium composite panels in a stunning all-white, metallic palette to make the plan a reality. It was a challenging design, and one which required rigorous study, planning and execution.
To combat potential problems, Elval Colour created a customised PVDF4 coating, crafted to last beyond the 20-year warranty. To create the panels, Elval Colour cast and rolled the coils then coated each of them in the company’s own line using a marine quality white barrier.
An additional barrier layer was applied before a white PVDF base coat and top coat, all working to increase the panel’s resistance against corrosion and UV damage. As the back of the panels would be visible from within Quai 9, a white primer coat was also added to ensure aesthetic consistency throughout.
As a final measure, the edges of each panel were treated on-site with a special bond protecting agent.
As a cultural and social hub for Lanester, it was important for Quai 9 to present a playful, eye-catching design, and the area’s close relationship with the sea was a clear choice to evoke.
Four different perforated patterns can be found across the building, each laid out in a gentle wave formation. They allow natural light to flow inside during the day, and artificial lights of the bustling town to playfully dance around the interior at night.
The building is in fact defined by the ship sail shapes that adorn the modern façade, inviting those who visit to embark on a cultural voyage every time they step through the doors.