Before the project even started, there was dialogue between the stakeholders, which proved successful. These preliminary discussions were held to envisage how the new development could look. FRESH Architectures and ITAR architectures came up with the overall idea of Allure, a multi-faceted architectural composition. The development is defined by the neighbouring buildings: a 15-storey tower, a seven-storey building, and town houses. “It’s a triangular site, and the idea for the buildings stems from a giant origami sculpture, designed to open up views of the housing from every angle”, says Julien Rousseau from FRESH Architectures.
Finding the perfect shade for the mid-height building
Given the light colours of the concrete used for the 15-storey tower, and the metallic and black shades of the neighbouring buildings, the architects opted to clad the mid-height building in insulating clay bricks. A façade system with brick cladded panels was used for its good insulating qualities and because it is quick and easy to install. The panels consist of clay facing bricks on polyurethane foam insulation, which can be attached to the supporting structure in a single operation using mechanical wall fixings and dowel pins.
Natural ageing of the materials
To ensure the perfect combination of colours was used, a prototype was installed on site to judge lighting, the shimmering effect and its appearance from a variety of distances. In the end three shades were chosen. The panels create the impression of traditional brick, and Julien Rousseau appreciates that “as with old bricks, the patina will develop slowly. Over time, the grouting becomes more emphasised and allows the building to age naturally.”
Choosing the right mortar
The colour of the mortar was also important, because it has a considerable impact on how the colours of the facing bricks are perceived and, therefore, on the success of the colour combination. The light colour has a reflective quality, appearing whiter in the sunshine. So, from close-up, the view passers-by have is of a façade broken up by joints, imitating Parisian brick. As they move further away, the design resembles a textile weave, and then creates a slight shimmering effect from all angles of the building.
Project nameAllure, Paris, France
ArchitectFRESH Architectures and Itar architectures
ClientBuilding contractor: Fernandes
Kess terracotta panels from the Terca range, in the shades Elmore, Nero Zwart and Forum Cromo
Year of completion2017