Salerno / Italy
Thiers, Bordeaux / France
The ophthalmology practice in Thiers needed a new venue with larger premises to accommodate the increasing number of patients and equipment. The new building has an exterior façade clad with Laminam, an architectural envelope intended to reflect the quality of service offered within the facility.
A state-of-the-art practice
Like a futuristic vessel in the new Bastide district in Bordeaux, the HQ of Clinique Ophtalmologique Thiers attracts all eyes. Specializing in laser eye surgery since 1996, this state-of-the-art practice is the first in the Gironde department for cataract and retina surgery. A new direction that led to the extension of the building’s surface area (from 4,800 to 5,400 square metres), developed over five floors. The architecture of the practice was designed to adapt to the needs of patients and healthcare professionals, improving the patient experience, implementing new technologies and processes to offer an increasingly efficient and high quality service. The first floor is reserved for admissions, administrative staff and consultations. The second floor is used for doctor’s offices and can accommodate up to 30 patients at the same time, while medical services are provided on the upper floors.
A large-scale architectural project
This level of care and service, designed with state-of-the-art medical technology, required the choice of an appropriate architectural envelope. That is why Laurence Taridec, head of the Thiers practice, turned to the TLR architectural firm, led by Mickaël Martin, to create the project. “The technical challenges we faced started with the shape of the building”, explains the architect. The exterior takes the form of an ocean liner, defined by clear architectural lines reminiscent of cruise ship design, with great attention to light and space and the refinement of materials; a spirit that is also repeated inside, providing an immersive and evocative experience for visitors. In addition to the external structure, another of the rules imposed by the customer was to have the same material for the façade, roof and under-roof cladding. Hence the choice of ceramics: Mickaël Martin and his team opted for Laminam natural surfaces (about 2,500 m² of slabs were applied) because of their adaptability and large size. “We wanted to convey an idea of ease and spaciousness, both on the roofs and the façades, a design concept precisely conveyed by Laminam”, the architect continues. The versatility of this material allows it to be applied as a flooring, wall cladding, worktops and especially on façades. Furthermore, the suspension systems are understated and easy to implement.
Lasting results thanks to bioactive treatments
Gaëtan Plessis, Project Manager of Laminam France-West, proposed the Bianco Assoluto, Collection series product for this project: it perfectly met the aesthetic criteria of the building, both for the façade, roof and under-roof. Synonymous with purity, Bianco Assoluto is a timeless classic that, in its Polished finish, accentuates the brightness of surfaces. With its full-body color, it is ideal for remodelling volumes, giving a feeling of robustness and vertical thrust to exterior surfaces. Like the other colors in the Laminam range, Bianco Assoluto is impact, scratch, stain and weather-resistant. For the Clinique Thiers project, the product underwent bioactive treatments to absorb and transform pollutants in the air (VOCs, NOx, SOx) and water into non-harmful elements. “The advantage of using Laminam surfaces for outdoor cladding is durability over time”, explains Gaëtan Plessis. “Thanks to bioactive treatments, the onset of organic mosses such as lichens is delayed and the air is purified. This results in a façade that retains its beautiful appearance over the years. Laminam slabs are a perfect image of the company’s know-how and the excellence of Made in Italy.”
Laminam 5+, a sustainable certification
Laminam is the first large-surface manufacturer to hold a technical certification for its large-size façade application. Issued by the CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment), the certification refers to the Laminam 5+ thickness with fixing clips. This is an additional cladding process consisting of ceramic slabs fixed to a vertical frame of aluminum sections by means of stainless steel clips. The certification authorizes the installation of Laminam products in dimensions up to 1000×3000 mm horizontally and 1000×2000 mm vertically, with a thickness of 5.6 mm. The Laminam slab can be installed on masonry or concrete walls and wooden frames. This technical acknowledgement is proof that Laminam’s claddings offer a level of safety and quality comparable in all respects to that of traditional products and processes.
Professional skills for an exceptional envelope
All project stakeholders agree in expressing the satisfaction they had in conceiving this building and working together to construct it. Mickaël Martin points out: “Our team had a positive professional relationship.” For Gaëtan Plessis, “this project was an exceptional adventure, shared by us with many workers”. As for Laurence Taridec, she is delighted with the result: “We have a fantastic building, the exterior of which perfectly reflects the state-of-the-art technology and quality of service offered by our practice.
Architect: Mickaël Martin – TLR Architectural Firm
Photos: HDX Production
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