Design by Laurent Anen

The Concept

The french ministry of culture represented by the drac in Gouadeloupe requested a modern design for the pipeorgan in the cathedral of Basse-Terre. The Gallery in the cathedtal is quite close to the ceiling, therefor it was
not possible to place the highest frontpipes in an organcase in a classical way. Laurent Anen suggested to put the biggest pipes at the edge of the gallery, so that the smaller frontpipes could find their place in the main
organ case over the keyboards. As there was only one principal 8' and one 4' that could be used for the front, Laurent Anen decided to use only a small amount of pipes, the 21 first pipes of the principal 8'. Then it
was clear that something had to be found to hide the inside of the organ.

The Design

Battens are commonly used by architects today in modern design. This is a perfect way to hide the inside of the organ while the sound can pass trough. Laurent Anen designed a cloud-like shape with battens
on the main case to hide the swellbox and two others on the gallerys edge. The hole looks like a 3d cloud with an organic symmetry. This is not a pure geometric symmetry but the kind that can be found on
plants, trees for example. To enhance the 3d shape Laurent Anen curved the cloud surfaces and added valleys ans hills. Laurent Anen placed the pipes in front of the cloud, each pipe as an individuum.
Each pipe is standing on a golden block.

The meaning

The cloud is an entity that grows slowly to the sky. The horizontality of the battens shows the difficulty to reach the sky. On the other hand the sound of the pipes represent the prayers of the faithful rising straight
to heaven symbolized by the vertucality of the pipes.

Execution phase

Laurent Anen made the technical drawing of the battens and the metal structure that supports them. He worked together with Helmuth Eckhardt who draw the instrument itself. The organ was build
in the workshop of Bertrand Cattiaux as the metal parts wer realized by a local firm named Métalletie Richard. Laurent Anen plotted the shapes of the wooden battens in scale 1 to 1 and send them to
Coalys in Gouadeloupe who produced them with local wood.



Technical drawing




Building the windchests


The wooden pipes


The pedal structure is in place.

Organ case by Laurent Anen


Laurent Massalve et Kaspar Vonbank

Virgile Bardin et Laurent Anen

wood pipes

Itaru Sekiguchi prevoicing

Virgile Bardin windchest

Helmuth Eckhardt tech drawing

Laurent Anen design

Organ Basse-Terre Cathedral Gouadeloupe

Project of the organ in virtual reality


Clic here to view the composition


2015 Designing and making a 3d virtual view of the project

Cathedral of Basse-Terre in Guadeloupe Island

Sound design:
Bertrand Cattiaux

Case design:
Laurent Anen


Complete organ case.


Organ with the metal structure for the front.

The organ with the front pipes.


View of the keyboard and the front pipes.

Detail of the drawstops


Proposal for the new organ of the Cathedral of Basse-Terre in Gouadeloupe.


The container is placed in front of the cathedral.


The organist's view.


Bertrand Cattiaux is explaining children how an organ works.


Fixing the front.


A very special guest.




The mechanic is in place.


Beginning of the assembly on site.


Local people are helping us to transport all the pieces into the cathedral.