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ACC - Shopping center renovation

"The bright color of the panels becomes a structuring element of the signage, identifiable by all the people"

Client / Owner: Caen la Mer Habitat
Location / Place: Caen, France
Area / Surface: --- sqm / --- m²
Year / Year: 2018
Cooperation / Collaboration: ITE, Agence 2A *, Bader
Status / Status: Completed / Realized
Photos / Pictures: Philippe Delval

The shopping center of the Chemin Vert district in Caen is the main commercial equipment of the area. Built in the 70s, its last renovation was made during the 90s. Despite a high attendance, the building is getting old and its facades and internal spaces look faded bringing a negative image to it. Also there are many interior spaces without real functionality that deserve to be requalified. And finally, there is not anymore a visual and common signage between all the shops, which accentuates this pejorative image.

A major renovation is needed to restore the building's identity.


Due to a limited budget, the intervention on the project consisted of keeping a part of the original envelope while highlighting some noticeable elements of the building.

The new Chemin Vert shopping center creates a more contemporary silhouette. A composition of decorative panels with various shades of color randomly placed animate the main facade along the street. They mark the main entrances of the shopping center while giving informations on the activity of the shops. All the entrances are now clearly defined by large panels with a number supported by a dark gray metallic cladding similar to the one of Carrefour City in order to guide more easily all the clients.

This cladding brings relief effect to the building in a relatively flat and mineral urban context.

It is a new landmark for the inhabitants of the district.


The new color panels cover widely the Carrefour City volume, which was previously neutral and without identity. This composition creates a signal in the district. The bright color of the panels becomes a structuring element of the signage, identifiable by all the people. It takes part in the shopping center new identity.


The Carrefour City volume has been completely repainted in dark gray to set it apart from the rest of the program. Now its visibility is accentuated and, at the same time, it contributes to the building image improvement.


The facade facing the car park has been harmonized with the same gray color than the Carrefour City. The green colored panels are densified on the corner of the building and are gradually spaced over the rest of the facade.

Now, the secondary entrance is more visible with the panels creating an important signage above.

The staircase and ramp that are in good condition are kept to ensure the economy of the project.


The old banner has been taken away and improved. It is now colored and run along the building creating a link with the decorative panels. In addition some projecting signs punctuate the boundary between each shop. On these signs, merchants will be able to install their logos. It will give a visual consistency to the shopping center which is currently suffering from a lack of homogeneity.

The secondary entrance is marked by a more appropriate signage, with a panel of larger dimensions and a specific typography signaling the access to the mall.


Previously there were many dead zones in the mall, with no real programmatic attribution. In order to continuously animate the building, some popup stores or events can be installed to increase the commercial attractiveness of the building.

The existing light will be replaced in order to bring more light to the aisles of the shopping center and modernize it in a discreet way.


Left vacant for many years despite an advantageous position in the shopping center, the central square is now converted into a resting area consisting of cubic volumes placed randomly like the exterior cladding. The volumes are in different heights: the lower ones are for seating, the middle one welcome plants and table, and the higher ones are for informations.

The resting area is permanently flooded with natural light thanks to the existing glass roof.

The floor of the resting area and the pop up stores will be covered with a green colored vinyl.

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