On the banks of the River Garonne, culture and architecture come together in spectacular fashion. La MÉCA (Maison de l'Économie Créative et de la Culture en Aquitaine) is Bordeaux’s monumental culture hub that hosts contemporary art exhibitions, cinema, and performances year-round. Nearly a thousand pixel-windows from Reynaers Aluminium perforate La MÉCA’s façade, contributing to the building’s distinctive design.
Sharp lines, plus distorted perspectives and vanishing points: MÉCA is impressive from afar and up-close. Its 37-metre-high arch rests on two concrete piers, connected across their two upper levels by a steel-framed bridge. Yet it is the pixelated façade that grasps your attention, thanks to the innovative design from the minds of Freaks Architecture and Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. This interplay of clever solutions results in a dynamic image of the public building, from whichever angle you approach it.
Curtain walls dotted with pixel-windows
The project’s designers wanted to create an attractive flush façade of limited depth. Not an easy task, given MÉCA’s intricate exterior geometry and irregularly shaped interior spaces. “Securely attaching the 250-kilogram concrete panels presented a real challenge on this façade, with its several steeply inclined planes,” says Iván Mata, associate architect at Freaks Architecture. Different panel dimensions were compared to achieve the ultimate solution. “Finally, we opted for windows that are only 60 centimetres high in order to reduce solar heat gain, while still letting in plenty of natural daylight.”
Custom-sized ConceptWall 86 frames align seamlessly to deliver a smooth and contemporary façade.
(Sliding) doors to seal the deal
When you leave your favourite cultural event, ConceptPatio 130-Lift & Slide (LS) profiles open up to the panoramic terrace overlooking Bordeaux. Counting six leaves on a three-rail track, this sturdy sliding system complies with the highest insulation, safety, and stability requirements. Moreover, on the ground floor, you will find ConceptDoor 68 systems, which are French market-specific door solutions. Our team of experts specifically designed these doors to withstand frequent usage and to provide a safe way out in case of emergency.
Our workmanship had to be incredibly precise to achieve the smooth design specified by the architects. In the end, La MÉCA represents a welcoming venue for all kinds of cultural exhibitions thanks to its impressive yet playful façade. When innovative ideas and quality products come together, anything is possible.