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A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

France Architecture News - Jul 11, 2019 - 00:00   2690 views

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

Paris and Toulouse-based architecture firm A+Architecture has completed a new urban centre, containing a conference center and a casino, at the gates of Cap d’Agde, France. Two major facilities are connected with circular walkways raised over white concrete pearls, signaling the renewal of this of this area.

Called Palais des Congrès & Casino Cap d’Agde, the new project is described as "between land and sea, between living garden, belvedere and sky, between mineral and organic: the birth of a new urban center."

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A vast gently sloping promenade links them to the port, the heart of this seaside town created by Jean Le Couteur during the Racine mission. Emblematic of the development, the Palais des Congrès has become the resort’s new showcase.

Connected to the Casino by a set of circular walkways, the complex offers a formidable and unprecedented three- dimensional pedestrian square that also creates a seamless connection between the new seaside resort in Agde and its historic town located a few kilometres inland.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

The Palais hall extends over three levels, all three of which connect to one of the winding walkways. A very playful spatial organisation allows easy access from inside and outside, on foot or by bicycle, to all the facility’s services: lobby, exhibition hall, offices, meeting rooms and an auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,200, where turquoise blue, the only accent colour in this white complex, evokes the waves of the Mediterranean.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A large, gently sloping square is on the roof of the complex. Perched high above the site and on one side, a panoramic room, whose shape evokes a Solen (a bivalve shell commonly called a razor shell), offers exceptional views of the entire surrounding landscape.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

In close collaboration with A+Architecture, Hervé di Rosa, an artist from Sète, played with the theme of the seabed in a mischievous way to design the 2,900-square-metre white metal mesh sculpture that covers the two buildings of this belvedere between land, sea and sky.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

For the facades of the buildings, the artist Hervé di Rosa experimented two different types of works for the project: seascape paintings and cut metal sculptures.

For this piece, the artist combined both of these techniques and designed a cut-out metal seascape. "It exemplifies all the characteristic features of Di Rosa’s work: a generous accumulation, benevolent figures, an anchoring in the local area and evidence of drawing in the design," said A+Architecture.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

Sea anemones, moray eels, sardines, jellyfish, starfish, clams, wolfish, octopuses, squid, St Pierre fish, crabs, sea bream, mullet, red mullet, damselfish and hake populate this living façade around the Youth of Agde statue, a local treasure.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

The work is composed of 6 panels, each of which is 90 cm wide and 3 m high. These 6 panels create a subtle repetition on the façade that combines symmetries and differences. It is through this work that art meets architecture.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

In addition to being the symbol of the renewal of Cap d’Agde, the conference centre and casino complex is thus also the largest work of art in the world of the artist.

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

Image © Camille Gharbi

Image © Camille Gharbi

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

Image © Camille Gharbi

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

Image © Camille Gharbi

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

A+Architecture completes conference center and casino complex with circular walkways in France

Project facts

Lead architect: A+Architecture

Associate architect: Philippe Escamez Architecte

Executive project manager / Scheduling, overseeing and coordination of the works: Arteba

Scenography: Crea Factory

Structural engineering: Terrell

Construction economics: L’Echo

Utilities and electricity: Celsius Environnement

Earthworks, Roads & Utility Services and electricity (high voltage A, low voltage A, street lighting): Gaxieu

Water supply & sanitation, Roads & Utility Services, electricity (high voltage A): Prima Groupe

Demolition Ginger: CEBTP

Thermic & environmental assessment: Celsius Environnement

Landscaping: Agence TER paysagistes / PMC Creation

Acoustics: Cabinet Vincent Hedont

Top image © Camille Gharbi 

All images © Benoit Wehrlé unless otherwise stated.

> via A+Architecture