insulating glass units over a total area of


atlantis shopping centre

The town of Saint-Herblain is a direct suburb of Nantes and over the years has developed into a service centre for the industrial city on the French Atlantic coast. And that also means more and more retailing on the edges of both urban areas. The popularity of the Atlantis shopping centre, the largest in the area, led to plans to increase its size. Now, whether just window shopping or relaxing in one of the many restaurants, shoppers can enjoy a pleasant atmosphere in the new building.

  • One of the reasons for the appeal of this centre is the brightly lit atrium with its 48m diameter glass dome roof. A roof structure of maximum delicacy, and thus maximum transparency, was needed in order to ensure that daylight reaches far to the interior of this shopping centre. So seele developed an elegant, slender gridshell of welded steel sections. Designing the base of the dome as a tension ring that can accommodate all the movements of the dome in particular helped to minimise the dimensions of the steel sections for the roof structure.

    With a rise of just 7m, the dome is extremely shallow. That in turn called for highly accurate calculations and workmanship in order to prevent a collapse. Therefore, the steel structure was delivered to site in the form of prefabricated subassemblies, as large as possible, which were then joined together in situ. The outer envelope is made up of 640 rhombus-shaped insulating glass units with a solar-control coating. Some 160 different formats were required. Lameynardie Architectes chose seele as a design partner because one previous seele project in particular convinced them that seele not only had the necessary technological expertise, but also the skills to turn the architects’ design concepts into reality.

    Project images: © Atlantis le Centre, Valéry Joncheray


Client SARL Atlantis Restructuration
Architect SARL Lameynardie
Date of completion 2012
Scope of seele supply
  • Design, fabrication and erection of shell structure, including glass covering
  • Supporting framework: gridshell of steel hollow sections
  • Glass covering: 640 insulating glass units in 160 different formats with solar-control coating (total surface approx. 2,000sqm)