International City of Lace and Fashion, Calais

Praise for the caress


Major rehabilitation, extension and conversion into cultural equipment of a mechanical lace factory of the 19th century, the Boulart factory. Program: creation of temporary and permanent exhibition halls, an auditorium (200 seats), a restaurant, a shop and offices for administration.

The Boulart factory and its extension of glass and steel together symbolize the museum vocation of the International City of Lace and Fashion. The technique disappears in this project nourished imagination and secular tradition. The new facade of the city of lace arouses curiosity … From the canal, it hides the old factory and completes it through its double glass facade on which reflect the Calaisian skies in anamorphosis on both sides, one hollow, the other convex. Their fine silkscreen-based metallic enamel reproduces the holes of the Jacquard cards used on the Leavers English crafts. On the whole surface of this gigantic skin, this moucharabieh recreates the game of the show-hide so closely linked to lace and intrigue, at night, revealing a pointillist architecture.

Photos: © Michel Denancé, © Florian Kleinfenn, © Moatti-Rivière agency

Technical sheet

Competition: winning project
Client: City of Calais
Location: Quai de la gendarmerie, 62100 Calais
Surface area: 7500 m²
Mission: architecture and museography
Cost of works H.T .: 15.6 M €
Delivery: June 2009

Project Management Team:
Agence Moatti – Rivière, Mandatory Architect
Associate Architect: Flint Agency
Design offices: RFR (BET structure and facades), Inex (Fluidic BET), Cabinet Michel Forgue (economy), Atelier Pascal Payeur (museographer), Norisko (SSI), Avel (acoustics), The Observatory (lighting), CEPMO (OPC).