As light as a fisherman’s net
Apr 23, 2014
A sheltered, inviting inner courtyard is located between the two wings. Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS

The closed competition was won by young Frenchman Frédéric Périot (Periot Architecture Durable). His design for the new HQ for BENETEAU yacht and motorboat builders comes with a convincingly skilful groundplan and a decidedly elegant frontage. It drapes like a fisherman’s net over the building’s main façade and thus conveys the French company’s maritime content to the world outside.

Consisting of two parallel wings or blocks, the BENETEAU HQ in Givrand, France, houses both reception and conference rooms as well as offices of different sizes. Between the two building complexes there’s a sheltered inner courtyard, open at both narrow ends. A curved corridor with glazed outer walls links the two edifices and gives passers-by a view of the green open area. While the block in the north is exclusively used by employees and is a single storey structure, the building facing south has two storeys and acts to duly represent the company.

The perforated frontage made of white HI-MACS panels creates a high-grade gleaming cladding for the structured glass façade on the second floor. The planners integrated the company logo into the perforation pattern, and its curved shapes imbue the otherwise stringent shape of the building with zestful motion. This is possible thanks to the thermal malleability of the material, whose special properties enable customized designs. In addition, the ‘net’ acts like a curtain protecting the rooms from overheating in summer while affording employees enjoyable views out. HI-MACS has since last year been ETA-certified for use on façades – the thermally curable mineral material was hitherto mainly used for interiors. The natural acrylic stone with the pore-free surface is especially resistant to soiling and the Alpine White paint is guaranteed five-years UV resistant.

A sheltered, inviting inner courtyard is located between the two wings. Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS
The new HQ of BENETEAU sailing and motorboat wharf is located in Givrand, close to the French Atlantic coast.
Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI- MACS
In consultation with the manufacturers, planners can freely choose the perforation pattern for the façade panels.
Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS
HI-MACS has been ETA-certified for use in façades since December 2012. Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS
As much as 50 percent can be perforated without any loss in stability. Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS
The BENETEAU corporate logo with its curved shapes is reflected in the pattern of the perforated façade and gives the building an unmistakable look. Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS
As light as a curtain, the perforated frontage prevents rooms overheating in summer. Photo © Mathieu Ducros, HI-MACS