Nestled between two buildings on avenue de la Perrière, the building of DDL Architectes houses a restaurant with terrace on the ground floor, and the architectural agency on the first and second floors. For this project the architects wanted to use a stone cladding as external insulation. For Joann Le Corvec, “a long brick was ideal for enhancing the horizontal shape of the building, evoking the long shale stones of Brittany.” And the Black Graphite version of the Terca Cassia brick provided the solution. As well as its length, the fact that it has to be broken in two on-site guarantees that each brick has a unique appearance. Taken as a whole, the façade resembles a stone monolith with successive indentations.
Combining modernity and mashrabiya
According to Gwen David, the principle of mashrabiya, or the “latticework wall”, consists of a worked wall punctuated with picture windows, even though the façade is actually 100 % glazed and framed with posts and beams. “The opening windows, concealed by the latticework wall, help achieve bioclimatic comfort during the summer.” Not only do they provide shade inside the building, they also conceal the open windows on the east and west sides at night in order to create a natural air current. Result: this night-time ventilation helps save on air-conditioning. ”
Traditional stone laying
Once the brick was chosen, they had to find a professional capable of laying it well. For Joann Le Corvec, it was a stroke of luck to meet Eric Four, a stonemason from Rennes, who was trained by the Compagnons de France, an organisation of craftsmen who work with traditional techniques. Based on the agency’s sketches, he created prototypes that he then reproduced on the façades, giving the mashrabiya an authentic touch of craftsmanship.
The full complexity of this dark monolith becomes more apparent the closer you get to it, with bricks that catch the light differently, creating a real sense of vibration. For Gwen David, it creates a “soothing effect” with the chips in the black graphite bricks revealing the white of the light.
Project nameDDL architectural bureau, Lorient, France
Terca Black Graphite Cassia Long Brick
Year of completion2017