stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france

Atelier 9.81’s Design for Calais Harbor Master’s Office

 

The new harbor master’s office in Calais, France, designed by Atelier 9.81, is part of the Port Calais 2015 expansion plan, responding to increased port activity and accommodating larger ships. The office, situated at the junction of the existing port and its extension, stands at a height of 38 meters and serves as a prominent maritime traffic management structure. Visible from the sea, town, and beaches, it symbolizes the port’s expansion and represents the evolving town of Calais.

 

To enhance the reception and image qualities, the design employs two key strategies. Firstly, the building is visually fragmented into distinct volumes, allowing each to convey a specific narrative. This accumulation of volumes, resembling balanced pebbles, forms a structure that encapsulates various geometric forms. Secondly, each volume is assigned a specific texture and materiality, drawing inspiration from Calais’s economic, maritime, and geological heritage.

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
all images by Nicolas da Silva Lucas

 

 

representation of economic, maritime, and geological heritage

 

The economic heritage, exemplified by the local excellence of lace, is manifested in the design. The building serves as a representation of the diverse heritage, encompassing economic, maritime, and geological aspects. Calais’s maritime history, open to the North Sea and distant horizons, is symbolized through the use of a maritime map and its associated imagination. The geological heritage, embodied by the imposing cliffs of the two capes, finds reflection in the stratification of the building’s base.

 

In terms of materiality, the design team at Atelier 9.81 made the deliberate choice to utilize a single material – white concrete. This decision aligns with the concept of a cairn, emphasizing durability in the face of coastal climatic conditions. White concrete is employed through both cast-in-place (for the first three levels) and prefabricated (for the rest of the structure, including the central core) methods, ensuring a cohesive and sustainable design.

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
harbor master’s office of Calais

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
harbor master’s office of Calais

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
harbor master’s office of Calais

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
emergency room terrace

new-harbor-masters-office-calais-france-atelier981-designboom-1800-2

emergency room terrace

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
emergency room terrace

new-harbor-masters-office-calais-france-atelier981-designboom-1800-3

commander’s office

stacked white concrete boxes compose towering harbor master's office in france
watchtower terrace

 

project info:

 

name: New harbor master’s office of Calais
architect: Atelier 9.81 | @atelier9.81

location: Calais, France

photography: Nicolas da Silva Lucas | @nicolasdasilvalucas

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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