lemoal-lemoal architectes wrap exposed wooden structure in continuous tile in normandy

lemoal-lemoal architectes wrap exposed wooden structure in continuous tile in normandy

paris-based firm lemoal lemoal architectes expresses an attention to craft and materiality with the gonzague saint bris social and cultural center in cabourg. gathering the city’s cultural and social services on a single site, the project offers both an urban response by revitalizing a formerly isolated lot and a long term solution by employing local skills as well as local materials. while the lot was initially isolated from the street, the team turned to underscore the public program and its visibility and access. with this strategy, the street plan was reorganized to broadly open the site toward the city, creating a link between city center and the residential district to the north. the creation of a new public plaza encourages pedestrian cross traffic and public engagement.

lemoal lemoal cabourg
all images © élodie dupuis, © javier callejas



in the organization of the social and cultural center at cabourg, the team at lemoal lemoal architectes divided the project into two distinct buildings. these L-shaped volumes generate the border of a new public plaza toward which their entrances are oriented, and allow for a pathway running through the site. virtually identical, the buildings express the language of the typical normandy farmhouse — a contemporary interpretation of the solidity of this archetypal construction with optimized and exposed wooden frames. the continuous tile cladding is the result of a collaboration between the architects and the specialist terracotta tile company, terreal. the teams strengthen the local sourcing of materials as a response to environmental challenges facing architecture today.

lemoal lemoal cabourg



located on the north side of the lot, the cultural center contributes to the life of the city with its media and games library. the program of the center is organized to enhance the visibility of the activities taking place there. designed in symmetrical relation with the cultural center, the social center follows the same organizational principle. it differentiates along its longer wing by a central corridor which separates reception areas, open to the plaza, from the center’s social offices at the back of the building, thus ensuring a more discreet presence and greater privacy.

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project info:


project title: gonzague saint bris social and cultural center

architecture: lemoal lemoal architectes

location: cabourg, france

structural engineering: sicre

economist, fluides, thermal: prisme ingénierie

landscape: sneta

photography: élodie dupuis, javier callejas

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