Lac du Der Casino by Data Architectes could be mistaken for a school or a museum

This timber-clad casino by a lake in eastern France is one of three that Data Architectes designed to offer an alternative to the "locked universe" typically favoured for this type of building (+ slideshow).

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

Located to the south of Lac du Der, the new building is intended to encourage more tourism in the area. But the French architecture studio was also asked to develop a design that challenges the traditional image of the casino.

"Casinos tend to promote the image of a locked universe, devoid of natural light and closed in on themselves," explained Data Architectes, which completed its first casino in Montrond-Les-Bains in 2013.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

"The main challenge was to seek and to conceive innovative solutions to change the image of casinos in the public eye, by transforming them into true multi-leisure centres open to all, where gambling is no longer the only asset."

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

The resulting design comprises two overlapping rectilinear blocks, each 15 metres wide. The lower block is set into the landscape and contains the operational activities, while the upper block houses all of the public attractions.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

Both blocks are clad with different materials – one is a metal and glass box screened by timber louvres, while the other presents a facade of white-rendered concrete. This cladding helps the structure appear more like a public building.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

According to the team, the aim was to create a building that is "aesthetically sober and simple, a presence yet without showing off". The forms are also expected to fit in with the local architectural vernacular.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

"The building's shape is characterised by the architectural design of the two 'layers', where the gap between them creates terraces and slopes," said the architects.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

There are two public entrances to the casino. The first is a staircase that leads in from a plaza at the south-west corner of the site, and the second is an elevator that comes up underneath a section of the building that is raised off the ground on pilotis.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

Constructed from pre-weathered glue-laminated Douglas fir wood, the vertical timber louvres surround all sides of the upper block, shading expansive windows that maximise natural light inside.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

Beyond the lobby, facilities include both games rooms and dining areas. Staff offices in the lower block are flanked by large windows.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

The Lac du Der Casino opened to the public just before Christmas and is run by casino operator JOA. As well as the building's in Montrond-Les-Bains and Lac du Der, Data Architectes will complete another project in La Seyne-sur-Mer at the end of this year for the same client.

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes

Photography is Javier Callejas.


Project credits:

Client: JOA
Architect: Data Architectes
Design team: Léonard Lassagne, Colin Reynier, Edouard Guyard, David Lelong, Éloïse Bosredon
Structure: Malishev-Wilson
Costing: Cabinet Lemonnier Hvac
MEP: Nicolas Ingénierie
Façade: Bauraum

Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes
Site plan – click for larger image
Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes
Upper level floor plan – click for larger image
Casino du Lac e Der by Data Architectes
Section – click for larger image