German Agrob Buchtal was selected by Dutch architects MVRDV when it came to completing a residential project in Bordeaux, France.
Ilot Queyries is exceptional in many respects, the tile company says, but the striking ceramic outer skin is particularly so. The building is located east of the Garonne River, directly opposite France’s largest cathedral, which marks the historic centre of Bordeaux. With the new building, the architects wanted to give the life of this growing city a sustainable design. They mirrored the master plan of the old town on the shore side of the Bastide Niel and made the residential courtyard a visual orientation point in the new quarter. In this way, the future of the city connects naturally to its history. A contemporary interpretation of Bordeaux’s building traditions.
The imposing new building Ilot Queyries not only catches the eye with its heights, depths, and slopes – its radiantly bright, three-dimensional building envelope in particular attracts attention from afar. Differently profiled tiles of Agrob Buchtal’s KeraTwinsystem make this possible. They skilfully catch the light and give the architecture a lively, sculptural appearance with sun reflections and shadow play, making it a ceramic landmark. The ceramic façades also spill over confidently onto the roofs. With sharp, precise edges, they contrast with the red plaster of the inner courtyard, which seeks its way out here and there in incisions, vistas and passages.
Architects MVRDV say the Ilot Queyries project is a kind of laboratory of the modern city, combining intimacy with density, ecology, light, and comfort. It includes 282 apartments, a mix of affordable and market-rate units, and a restaurant in the crystalline upper part of the complex. Around 200 metres of building length, 10,000sq m of ceramic façades installed, varying their heights up to nine storeys, with a dynamic slope of 14 to 45 degrees – a glance at the key data makes it clear: without the support of a project-specific and trend-setting surface design, this architecture, which is as unconventional as it is identity-creating, would be difficult to achieve.
In accordance with the architects’ specifications, ceramic specialists from Agrob Buchtal designed and produced custom-made versions of the ultra-modern KeraTwinfaçade system for Ilot Queyries. First of all, there is the special colour: MVRDV carefully chose a light grey that blends the vertically laid panels into a harmonious façade appearance. The building blends in unobtrusively with the neighbouring architecture. The true design virtuosity of ceramics as a façade material is revealed in the combination of colour and three-dimensional texture. As a playmate of light, it brings an almost unlimited number of shades to the monochrome colour scheme. For Ilot Queyries, the specialists from Agrob Buchtal developed ceramic elements with three different cross-sections according to the architects’ specifications. Their raised profiling not only enlivens the colour, but also allows residents and passers-by to experience their building in the greatest diversity.
Agrob Buchtal ceramic façades are equipped with Hytect technology, a reportedly innovative surface with a self-washing effect. They guarantee that Ilot Queyries will continue to shine with unchanged and impeccable aesthetics even when a new mood overtakes the innovative architecture and speaks of it as a historical building sculpture in the neighbourhood. Until then, the antibacterial Hytect tiles not only defy all weather conditions, contamination as well as moss formation and impress with significantly low maintenance costs – they also reduce air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and actively contribute to healthier air quality.