Ilot Queyries is a cutting edge residential complex in Bordeaux, France, which features an innovative ceramic skin. Designed by Dutch architecture firm MVRDV, Ilot Queyries is a “building sculpture.” It is located to the east of the River Garonne, opposite France’s largest cathedral.

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A white building with a rectangle cutout area

The architects wanted the building to give the life of the growing city a future-proof design. The sculptural residential complex shape reflects the masterplan of the old town on the bank side of the Bastide Niel. It also melds with the residential area, which borders a green space in the district. The complex intends to be a contemporary interpretation of the architectural traditions of Bordeaux. 

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A pathway leading to white buildings in varying sizes

As a result, Ilot Queyries is a brightly colored building that varies in height and shapes across its façade. The differently-shaped tiles from the AGROB BUCHTAL KeraTwin system make this unique design. They capture the light and lend the architecture a vibrant, sculptural appearance. Moreover, the tiled façade surfaces cover the rooftops. Their edges contrast with the red plaster of an inner courtyard, which winds through the complex outdoors, through openings and passageways between the blocks of the building.

An aerial view shot downward on the floor plans features a inner tree pavilion

Thereby, the building achieves sustainability in several ways. MVRDV created the masterplan for this 35-hectare area. It will create a sustainable environment that is dominated by pedestrians and cyclists. The designers combined a modern city design with narrow, historic-inspired streets. In addition to a modern sense of density, ecology, light and convenience.

White buildings

The complex rises nine floors with unique angles of 14 to 45 degrees. Without the high-tech surface materials and design, this type of architecture would not be possible. The AGROB BUCHTAL ceramic specialists created and produced special designs of the KeraTwin intelligent façade system for Ilot Queyries to meet the architects’ specifications. The custom light gray exterior color is designed to both please the eye and reflect light, while also serving an environmental function. Meanwhile, the building reflects solar radiation, preventing urban heat island effects and reducing thermal transfer.

An up-close of the white tiling on the buildings

These ceramic facades are also equipped with self-washing Hytect technology for a long life cycle and low maintenance. These tiles are antibacterial and resists weathering, pollution and moss formation. The coolest thing about these tiles is that they naturally destroy nitrous oxide pollutants, which helps improve surrounding air quality.


Images via OssipArchitectuurfotogr, Rotterdam