Location: Évolène, Switzerland
Creative Team: François Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro
Engineer: Guscetti & Tournier, Geneva
Interior Design: R&Sie(n) + Mathieu Lehanneur (furnitures)
Museum design concept and apparatus: Mathieu Lehanneur
Key dimensions: 1,000 sqm
Client: Maison des Alpes, Public Foundation
Photographs: ©François Roche/R&Sie(n)
“Mais voilà qu’en travers de notre route se dressa une silhouette voilée, de proportions beaucoup plus vaste que celles d’aucun habitant de la terre. Et la couleur de la peau de la silhouette était de la blancheur parfaite de la neige… ”
E. A. Poe, les Aventures de Gordon Pym, traduction C. Baudelaire.
Design of a building for an art museum/alpine ice research station Scenario:
1) Digitization of the envelope of a traditional habitat.
2) Scooping out hollows within this volume as if it were an ice cavity, but in full wood by a 5 axes drill machine.
3) Water states and flows vary according to the seasons: The ice flows and freezes; the ice façades freeze and melt, forming a pond in front of the building.
4) Exacerbation of the winter climate by artificial snow (500 m3)
5) Construction by CNC machine processing, 5 axes, in full wood (2000m3-1000 trees) and reassembling the manufactured 180 pieces on site.
6) Reactivation of local economy
You can see a video about the installation here:
Amorphous mutations that suddenly get the form of an art museum that will be finished in 2009, it seems that R&Sie architecture evaluates architecture’s degree of reality transforming pieces taken out of a plastic dimension to convert them in high quality architecture.
The museum, designed with the most organics forms that we can find in nature, clearly represents the team philosophy of “Making with…”, that is their way of describing their research into a critical experience of architecture through a mutation of contextual parameters.
As François says in their web-site, scenarios of hybridization, grafting, cloning, morphing give rise to perpetual transformation of architecture which strives to break down the antinomies of object/subject or object/territory.
R&Sie(n) is an architectural office set up in 1989 and lead by François Roche (1961, France), Stéphanie Lavaux (1966, France), based in Paris. The organic, oppositional architectural projects of their practice is concerned with the bond between building, context and human relations. Roche explains his concept of ‘’spoiled climate” chameleon architecture, which links and hybrids the human body to the body of architecture by a re-scenarization on the rules of all the natures, even artificial. They use speculations and fictions as process to dis-alienate the post-capitalism subjectivities, in the pursuit of Toni Negri. R&Sie(n) consider architectural identity as an unstable concept, defined through temporary forms in which the vegetal and biological become a dynamic element.