French architectural firm Hérault Arnod Architectures announced the completion of the Escape Mayenne in Laval, France, which it constructed with a shell of textured aluminium plates.
Constructed on a former military site, the multipurpose sports and entertainment complex is clad in a curved, twisting aluminium façade with three different textural zones. The aluminium façade sits atop a wood-clad base and continues westward and downward to cover the outer wall.
“The façade is like a skin wrapping itself around the rooms, resulting in a shifting shape that constantly changes depending on the viewpoint,” explained the firm in a press release.
The project is a combination of three venues, namely, a gymnasium, a conference hall, and a 4,500-person stadium. The gym has a climbing wall, and the stadium is readily convertible for either sporting events or entertainment by offering bleacher seating on its edges and space for a stage and curtains on the northern perimeter. The conference hall’s interior walls are embellished with acoustic improvements installed in geometric patterns.
The trio of venues is joined by a pair of atria at the ground floor that features entries for technicians, staff, and attendees. The ground floor atrium is bordered by glazing and topped by a ceiling of timber slats that dovetails into the form of the building’s exterior.
“[The lobby’s] organisation allows a fluid circulation of the different public flows according to various scenarios of occupation – the three venues can be in use at the same time or not.”
Hérault Arnod said it designed the site to look different depending upon the aspect its viewed in as a reflection of the rapidly-changing area.
“This is an area undergoing change. The building’s organisation respects the landscape structure and the memory of the site, combining ecology, compactness, economy of means and the creation of a mass plan saving parcels for future programmes.”