New Galeries Lafayette’s canopy by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture

New Galeries Lafayette

New Galeries LafayetteLocated Place de la République, the Galeries Lafayette building has undergone a real transformation, symbol of the city center’s metamorphosis in Metz and realized by architect Manuelle Gautrand. Built in the 1980’s, the building – a true landmark in Metz – had to evolve in order to adapt to the new values of the Galeries Lafayette and to become a reference, both on the commercial and on the architectural level.
New Galeries LafayetteClothed in a stone facade, relatively cold and without any window or opening – except in its lower part – the existing building had entrances and vitrines that were not very generous. In order to transform the image of this building, visible from the other side of the square and to turn it into a signal or landmark for passersby, the architect decided to preserve the stone façade, with interesting classical ornamental features and to concentrate on its lower part, space where the public circulates.
New Galeries LafayetteA canopy revisited like an origami
With the objective to reconnect with the history of the Galeries Lafayette, Manuelle Gautrand chose to create a canopy as a reference to the exceptional glass works that were built in the early 20th century. The project has been organized around this overhanging façade that revisits in a contemporary manner a strong symbol of the Department Stores.
New Galeries LafayetteIn a large ethereal movement of pleated glass, the canopy runs along the three facades of the building, on a total length of 120 meters. To echo the stone that it enhances and to refer to the Galeries Lafayette, the architect chose a red colored canopy which width varies from 2.30 meters to 5.30 meters, using a cantilever of 7.40 meters at the angle of the building; the height from the ground varies from 3.50 meters at its lowest point, to 11 meters at its highest.
New Galeries LafayetteMade of two tempered and laminated glass, in between which are enclosed four layers of red film – necessary to obtain the intensity of red desired – the canopy, 22 millimeters thick overall, finds a rhythm through a series of folds that are assembled with one another in a large wave-like movement. The canopy is held by a metal structure made of triangular brackets that accompany each fold on its length and diagonal, in an almost chiseled manner.
New Galeries LafayetteThe large folding of this canopy, which gives more height and breathing to the lower facades, allows balancing the general proportions of the building. The stone is now displayed in more reasonable proportions. The more the glass folds approach the angle of the building, the more they expand, as if they were trying to reach passersby on the Republic Square. The stone is now seen through the glass filter, becoming the setting of a new modernity.
New Galeries LafayetteLarger and more generous vitrines
The building now exists on two scales: that of the square, offering a landmark from afar, and that of the passersby, offering now visible and generous entrance gates. The whole lower part of the building, situated under the canopy, is reconstructed in glass alternating between large vitrines and entrance gates. The vertical windows are screen printed with a white pointillism pattern that comes to highlight them a delicate frame.
New Galeries LafayetteIn this way, they are displayed next to each other along the facades, like frames or pictures that are exposed to the public on the square. The architect wanted the windows to reflect and multiply the red color of the canopy, so as to give the impression that the canopy would extend endlessly into the lower façade of the building. These windows also reflect the surroundings made of Jaumont stone. Whereas the upper facades of the Galeries Lafayette are made of a matt stone, the lower facades reflect the golden stones of the surrounding buildings.
New Galeries LafayetteA lighting enhancing the new canopy
A project of lighting and illumination of the façade was specifically developed with the light conception agency ON. At night, the light design reinforces the red color of the canopy that assures its nocturnal presence in the landscape of Metz and goes far beyond a simple “staging”. The light continues the architectural gesture when the night falls. Completely intertwined with the structure, it offers new interpretations of it:
New Galeries Lafayette– radiant, it shows the opalescence of the suspended glass under different angles;
– graphic, it underlines the folds that are reflected in the lower windows, emphasizing the eff ect of a suspended veil;
– dynamic, it seems to make the canopy breathe in a slow beat. This quietness is at times disturbed by a vibra. Source by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture.
New Galeries LafayetteLocation: Metz, France
Architects: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture
Main Constructors: Viry Acml, Fayat Group
Mne: Eiffage Energie
Light: Feerick
Structural and Glass Engineering: Tess Ingénierie
Light Conception Agency: On
Client Assistant: O2c Conseil
Coordination: Buro3
Fire and Security Regulations: Socotec
Year: 2014
Client: Citynove For The Galeries Lafayette Grou
Photographs: Vincent Fillon
New Galeries Lafayette New Galeries Lafayette New Galeries Lafayette

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *