Jakob + MacFarlane's unusual new venue at the FRAC Centre in Orleans completes
An unusual metallic building has erupted in the French city of Orléans. The scheme is by Jakob + Macfarlane for the FRAC centre for the arts and takes an asymmetrical form, incorporating a new entranceway to the complex with two raised elements: one hosting temporary exhibition galleries; the other an audiovisual gallery.
Coated in metallic and textile mesh skins both inside and out, the eye-catching form is located at a historical site previously used as a detention centre, hospice and military supply depot. The location was also used for international architecture research event ArchiLab between 1999 and 2006 before being selected for a permanent art and architecture-focused facility in 2006.
The resulting building is a glittering display of Jakob + Macfarlane’s ingenuity, its otherworldly form snaking across the site and reaching upwards towards the sky. The exterior of the structure glimmers in the sunlight by day but at night comes alive through the integration of digital light technology.
The architects detail: “These digital surfaces are addressed to the city and, as such, the building surface transcribes flows of information into the light images through an intervention of (artists) Electronic Shadow. These flows of information can be the weather, connections to their internet site or any capturable flow of real time information.”
The 35,000 sq ft facility has a highly recognisable form, quite in contrast with the architecture in the surrounding area as can be seen in the images to the left taken by a drone.