“Can you guess what this is?” On the perspective drawing handed by the architect showed a completely unusual space-rocket-like structure.
Cherbourg is a harbor town in Normandy, France, once more famous owing to a classic film of yesteryear. Planning for new residential neighborhood development accompanying a period of growth of the metropolitan area, a water tower was to be built, and a design that proposed harmony of function and aesthetic beauty had won the competition. The 15-meter-diameter, 34-meter-high concrete cylinder comprised geometric concave facets fanning out like a sculpture. It was to stand on top of the hill as a new landmark that could be seen from anywhere in the city.
Having been asked to provide a lighting design, I pictured its scale and combined a “light beacon” providing immediate place recognition with an image to the universe that guides you toward the sky. Using colors inspired from the celestial bodies assigned to each weekday (Monday, the blue of moonlight, Tuesday, the deep red of Mars...), I designed the colors to change each day of the week. In contrast with the color of the seaside, the landside, which would become residential development, was always white to add a comparison of movement and stillness. The entire energy is provided by rooftop solar panels. The project received an award from IES.
: Communauté Urbaine de Cherbourg -Octeville
Project Team : Atelier Lab
Dates : 2010-2013
Construction Cost : 3 M€
Surface : 2 000 m2
Water tower construction
Architectural lighting design