The building on Quai du Tonkin at Dieppe Port is set to make a real contribution to the local community and, according to the town's mayor, Sébastien Jumel, become the centrepiece in the "big jigsaw that is the south of Dieppe". The architects of baumschlager eberle, together with Bernhardt Curk Architectes, have worked to develop an architectural design that reflects its location and context.
From the beginning, the general plans for this area created strong links between the industrial wasteland and the centre of Dieppe. The goal is clear - produce sustainable long-term structures that open up development opportunities for the town.
The project is the prelude to this ambitious process and it was a significant challenge to create a benchmark identity in a difficult economic environment. baumschlager eberle won the contract, and in partnership with Bernhardt Curk Architectes, rose to the occasion by coming up with a design adapted to the place and environment, with characteristics that set the tone for a new identity. The new edifice stands opposite the listed municipal building, simple and concise, cut with the precision of a prism.
For the Project's Strategic Manager, Ulli Grassmann of baumschlager eberle, "the profile of the roofs reflects the constant motion of the waves in the port and provides pedestrians along the Quai du Tonkin with a measured, calm and sustained façade." Its geometry, materiality and urban profile are used to transform the existing buildings in this former industrial zone, and specifically echo them. The building is topped with a saw-tooth roof and marks the location with its reflective white bricks, connecting it to the town while, at the same time, managing to break away from it. The focus on transparency and the emphasis on maintaining continuity with the surrounding area has avoided creating an isolated object and improved the urban quality of this public space.
In order for the building to blend into its environment as much as possible, the façades were designed in reference to the two-storey buildings on the docks of Dieppe, where the ground floor serve for commercial uses, and the loft is inhabited. The façade features are vertical, creating an alternating rhythm of "empty" fitted panels and "full" brick panels. The depth of this façade and its overall design contribute to the elegance of its architectural form.
The project has succeeded in creating a flexible and attractive structure, suited to any use. The ground floor commercial areas and the offices on the upper floors are all modular and benefit from the quality of the inner courtyard.