The nobility of plaster

Mac Arthur Glen, Europe's leading outlet retailer, has added a highly original Maison des Métiers d'Art to its latest outlet village, Paris Giverny. Designed in partnership with the Portes de Normandie Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and the Chambre de Métiers et de l'Artisanat (CMA) de l'Eure, this vast space is intended to be a showcase, demonstration and practice area for regional craft skills. In the words of designer Mathieu Lehanneur, who conceived this hybrid space, "the missing link between the workshop and the boutique... a platform for exchanges between visitors and customers and the region's crafts". The vast volume covers a first floor and a mezzanine, allowing visitors to discover in situ the artisans, their techniques and their productions. Chambers architects was responsible for the operational and regulatory aspects of the project, in close collaboration with Agilité solutions. As is often the case, the exercise involved interacting with the design itself, and in this case, with a heightened ecological requirement. The wall paint initially planned for the two levels was thus abandoned in favor of a plaster and flax fiber coating from Plâtres Vieujot. This exceptional plasterer, born in 1880 and based in Montmorency, cultivates this French tradition, including for the restoration of historic monuments. The product is a perfect example of the short circuit: manufactured 90 km from the worksite, it uses a local plant for which Normandy accounts for 60% of French production, the world's leading exporter.