2008/2014 - Brest

Brest Arena

G3S, Grand Sports Arena

This building is a “Swiss army knife” for shows which reconciles optimally multisport activities, shows and concerts as well as congresses.

The volume is compact, in the line with controlled economy and optimal land occupancy. The combination of this compactness and great technical rigour in the design of passive solutions is embodied in an organic form that envelops the competition and concert hall, and the training hall in a single movement.

The building is a naturally ventilated « machine ». The roof is a “technological landscape” made up of north-facing ventilation and lighting chimneys. Inside the main hall, these chimneys, positioned above the arena, form a series of hollow conical volumes. Around the chimneys, the ceiling is composed of suspended foam cylinders that are part of the phonic absorption system. The technical solution generates the architectural signature.

With its peripheral balcony, its horseshoe layout when the stage is set, its acoustic ceiling and its moulded wood shell seats, the 5000 seats hall is designed as a performance hall where sports events can take place, and not the other way round.

The acoustics were submitted to extremely high level modelling to find the right balance between absorption and reflection, to solve the problem of infra bass during concerts without creating a too matte-sounding hall during other events.

The curved volume is entirely clad with natural aluminium that reflects the changing lights in the Brest skies. To emphasise this moving image, the ambulatory hall which surrounds the main hall unfurls fluidly depending on internal needs. On the square, the facades are transparent. Their upper part is opaque, gradually transforming into a latticework made of intersecting blades. In the daytime, the latticework filters light and allows a glimpse of the interior spaces, creating a certain sense of mystery. At night, the perception is very different. The interior lights up and the main hall’s orange volume appears in the background. The pattern of the latticework stands out against the light. The image is festive, an invitation to come inside.

Brest Métropole Océane (BMO)

14 500 m² total floor area

Cost budget
€30 million before tax exteriors included

Boulevard de Plymouth, Brest (Finistère)

Project management
Hérault Arnod Architectes, lead architects
Michel Quéré, executive local architect and Jérôme Moenne-Loccoz, project manager
Michel Forgue, economics
RFR, structure
Inex, fluids
RFR Elements, sustainability
TN+, landscape designer
Lasa, acoustics

Competition February 2008
Delivery September 2014

Sport halls (5000 seat) convertible to a show room (5000 seats and standing place)
Training room
Fitness room
Rooms for the clubs and the VIPs
External area, parking (600 places)
Label Arena

André Morin