A fitting approach - Grand Designs Magazine

A fitting approach

Slate rainscreen cladding defines a contemporary home in the heart of France

By Caroline Rodrigues |

When architect Anaïs Bordeau was considering materials to complete a contemporary home near Angers in France, slate seemed to be a fitting rainscreen cladding solution. Her thinking was that this would sit beautifully with the natural surroundings of the house, bringing a harmonious addition to the landscape.

Design concept

Anaïs, a specialist in timber construction, worked in collaboration with the owner to come up with a contemporary design that would suit its country environment. But the first obstacle was that the design had to fit with local planning requirements. Set in a small village on the banks of the Mayenne river, the project was subject to approval by the Architectes de Batiments de France (ABF). Their role encompasses heritage preservation in a similar way to our UK planning restrictions for Listed buildings, AONBs and conservation areas.

Natural solution

To comply with the ABF regulations and yet keep a contemporary approach, the architect proposed a bold combination of vertical timber cladding and the CUPACLAD Design Waterfall rainscreen cladding from CUPA PIZARRAS. The natural slate is handcrafted by skilled craftsmen, with no chemical products or additional treatment. When orientated vertically it creates an optical illusion of cascading water.

Unique appearance

Featuring graphic lines that reach elegantly toward the sky, this unique version of CUPACLAD can be customised to suit a project. According to Anaïs, in this location the Waterfall natural slate evokes the verticality of trees and their ascent towards the sky, seeking light and growth. ‘The irregular installation adds dynamism and makes the material contemporary,’ she says. The home owner, although originally sceptical, was won over by the renders the architect presented and also by the appealing acoustic and thermal advantages of CUPACLAD.

Slate rainscreen cladding

The installation of Waterfall for this project was a first in France and worldwide. To get the effect, three different sizes of slate tiles are installed with concealed stainless steel screws to provide an efficient rainscreen cladding system. Not only does the system ensure the building is protected from rain, it is resistant to even extreme wind. The reflection of the light through the day on the three different slate sizes creates the illusion that the building is never the same.

Find out more

Browse online to explore CUPACLAD Waterfall and more CUPACLAD design concepts from CUPA PIZARRAS. You’ll find a selection of completed projects to compare. The friendly team at CUPA PIZARRAS will be delighted to explain more about the options for your own project.