The aim was to design a gateway to the town adapted to the scale of the region, and provide an architectural alternative to standard shopping centres. Located on the edge of the town of Beaucouzé, on a largely agricultural site, the Atoll is a slightly irregular ellipse shape.
The layout and construction of the project reflect the existing landscape by adapting the nature of the land.
The structure is covered with a white aluminium net, which is perforated and backlit.
The shops of the Atoll are arranged in a dynamic layout, while the carpark blends into the garden.
The Atoll is surrounded by a line of white mother-of-pearl casing one and a half km long.
The ellipse, which curves up at the top, is entirely backlit, with colours varying from white to red, from gold to sky blue.
The evanescent effect of the light brings out the perforated pattern and creates a subtle mashrabiyya effect wich blends in with the surrounding landscape and provides a local landmark.
The inside of the casing along the promenade is also backlit with a single pure white light, allowing the shop fronts to be clearly visible.
The building's enveloppe, 8-12m from the main structure, provides a protected area behind the shops for deliveries, away from the customer's view at the centre of the Atoll, and provides a clear passage for security services.
The outer cover runs from the inside out, following the access porches up to the roof to form an awning covering part of the promenade. On the inside, the awning rises up over a glass wall offering views of the various shop fronts. The shop front can be seen clearly above and below the awning.
Smaller constructions, designed like smooth white concrete pebbles, punctuate the visitors' promenade, creating more intimate areas in the style of a traditional street of shops.
At the centre of the Atoll lie wooden-clad buildings sheltered by trees house restaurants, conveniences, a first-aid unit etc.
The height of the building is limited to just 12 meters.