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Issue #23

COVERED IN IRIDESCENT AND SHIMMERING LAVA

Public Use

When planning the restoration of the Bioclinical Research Centre (CRBC) in Clermont-Ferrand, France, the architect immediately thought of the volcanoes in the local area, and of terracotta. The inspiration for this special shimmering lava-terracotta façade came from an Art Deco vase.
Bioclinical research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design modern
© Luc Boegly
research centre ceramic facade design modern detail waves structure
© Luc Boegly
research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design front view
© Luc Boegly
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research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design front view
© Luc Boegly

COVERED IN IRIDESCENT AND SHIMMERING LAVA

Public Use

When planning the restoration of the Bioclinical Research Centre (CRBC) in Clermont-Ferrand, France, the architect immediately thought of the volcanoes in the local area, and of terracotta. The inspiration for this special shimmering lava-terracotta façade came from an Art Deco vase.

Anne-Françoise Jumeau, from Périphériques Architectes, had to work around tight constraints during construction of the Research Centre, a project which gathers together, under one roof, lecture theatres for students, laboratories for researchers and a business centre. The project, which involved an element of redevelopment and the building of two extensions, stretches over 80 metres, with a very long façade, which features repeated horizontal layers of solid and glazed panels, designed to align with the internal spaces (offices, laboratories).

research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design front view
© Luc Boegly

RESEARCHING “HER” MATERIAL
Fascinated by terracotta, Jumeau imagined gently sculpting a material that would evoke volcanic lava, but iridescent, and shimmering with a thousand colours. “Our initial point of reference was a black enamelled vase that came from an art deco shop”. Armed with the vase, she set out to find a specialist in terracotta who would be able to provide her with a coating that would mimic its aesthetics. The solution was a special ceramic cladding, reprofiled.

research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design front view
© Luc Boegly

Another strength of this material is the way that the light in it varies depending on the time of day and the weather, creating a dialogue between the building and its Environment.

Anne-Françoise Jumeau, PERIPHERIQUES Architectes

research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design front view
© Luc Boegly
research centre ceramic facade design modern curved detail view
© Luc Boegly

WORKING TOGETHER
The architect recalls that, “I went to visit the producer, where they were able to offer a surface with the effect I was looking for, thanks to a process of double-baking the enamelling”. The enamel used, simultaneously black and colourful, turned out to have a very similar look to that of the vase. Anne-Françoise Jumeau designed a custom-made wave pattern for the project. The result is a long façade, which gives the impression of movement, with waves that are indeed evocative of volcanic lava. The vertical and the horizontal lines are in harmony with one another, the black enamel of the cladding fits well to the varied gold and champagne hues of the many frames and windows.

research centre clermont-ferrand ceramic facade design modern front view
© Luc Boegly
Facts & Figures
  • Project name
    Bioclinical Research Centre (CRBC), Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • Architect
    Anne-Françoise Jumeau for Peripheriques Architectes
  • Client
    Sarl FCI in CEBAZAT (department Puy-de-Dôme)
  • Used products

    Petrol-coloured Argeton cladding

  • Year of completion
    2017
research centre ceramic facade design modern detail waves structure

Façade

Argeton Petrol-coloured – France