Clay tiles proved to be the perfect material for the façade. The warm and earthy-tones of the clay tiles enhance the positive appearance of the building and make it an eye-cater at the same time.
Colours of the Land
The architects drew inspiration from traditional construction methods, as the building is located next to historic buildings like a stone church. Vincent Wattier, one of the practice’s partners, points out that “although Brittany is often associated with granite and slate, the region of Saint-Gilles is also familiar with brick and the local slightly purplish Montfort stone.” It was this local stone that inspired the nuances of the outer skin of the town hall. Big windows are used to lighten the clay façade, reflecting the sky, contributing to the overall effect.
Playing with the positioning and nuances of the tiles made it possible to establish links and lines of force in the façade and, thus, enliven a large volume like the town hall. The architect chose to put tiles of the same colour together in small groups of two or three to smooth out the nuances and blur the overall effect to create an impression of continuity of the material. Horizontal and vertical lines criss-cross like the weft and warp of a loom.
Durability is key
In addition, the choice of the clay tile cladding was also dictated by the material’s durability. It brings its stability to the wood and concrete frame, whilst making the building’s architecture more welcoming. Fired clay looks right at home in Saint-Gilles, the land of granite!
Facts & Figures
Project nameNew town hall, Brittany/Saint-Gilles, France
ArchitectVincent Wattier, DLW Architects
Flat Koramic 301 tiles colours glazed gloss wine linen, matt slate grey and amaranth
Year of completion2015