ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Installations & Structures
  4. France
  5. nArchitects
  6. 2006
  7. Windshape / nArchitects

Windshape / nArchitects

  • 01:00 - 12 August, 2008
Windshape / nArchitects
Windshape / nArchitects

Windshape / nArchitects Windshape / nArchitects Windshape / nArchitects Windshape / nArchitects +41

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lacoste, 64270 Léren, France
  • Architect

  • Design Team

    Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (Partners); Daniela Zimmer (Project Architect), Kazuya Katagiri, Takuya Shinoda, Shuji Suzumori / Fabrication by nARCHITECTS and SCAD (Jim Bischoff, Michael Gunter, Cindy Hartness, Michael Porten, Ryan Townsend, Troy Wandzel, with Natalie Bray and Sarah Walko)
  • Client

    Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Program

    Ephemeral pavilions
  • Project Year


From the architect. Windshape was an ephemeral structure commissioned by the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) as a venue and gathering space near their Provence campus in Lacoste, France. Built by nARCHITECTS and a team of SCAD students over a period of five weeks, Windshape became the small town's main public meeting space, and hosted concerts, exhibitions, and ceremonies throughout the summer of 2006.

Windshape was conceived as two eight-meter-high pavilions that dynamically changed with the Provençale wind. A vine-like structural network of white plastic pipes, joined together and stretched apart by aluminum collars, emerged from the limestone walls and terraces of Lacoste's hillside. Fifty kilometers of white polypropylene string was threaded through the lattice to create swaying enclosures. The string was woven into dense regions and surfaces and pinched to define doorways, windows, and spaces for seating.

By varying the degree of tension in the string, nARCHITECTS built Windshape to respond to the wind in several ways, from rhythmic oscillations to fast ripples across its surfaces. During heavy winds, Windshape moved dramatically, and made a hissing sound akin to dozens of jumpropes. The pavilions took on a multitude of temporary forms over the course of the summer, as they billowed in and out, and momentarily came to rest. In this way, the local winds and the Mistral gave shape to constantly mutating structures. The pavilions were illuminated at night against the backdrop of the Marquis de Sade's castle, and were visible from as far away as the village of Bonnieux, 5 kilometers away.

The pavilions' design reflects a desire to remix the hard and soft landscapes of Provence in an innovative tectonic system. The village of Lacoste appears hewn out of limestone, its streets and network of terraces seemingly chiseled out as voids in the hillside. In contrast, the surrounding fields, vineyards, and lavender bushes form a luminous, soft, and changeable landscape. Windshape refers in its exterior form and angular geometry to the medieval townscape, while echoing the mutating, softer agricultural landscape in its internal experience and dynamic qualities.

Windshape was a laboratory that allowed us to test the idea of a building that can respond to natural stimuli. Rather than simply sheltering us from the elements, buildings of the future could connect inhabitants to their environment, reminding them of its strength and beauty.

Construction Process

Windshape was constructed by nARCHITECTS and a team of SCAD students over a period of five weeks. The architects developed a construction sequence that optimized the use of measured and non-measured fabrication methods. The basic components of string, plastic pipes and aluminum collars were all digitally modeled and translated into a set of 2D drawings and data. To achieve the project's complex, interwoven geometries, the pavilions were built as a series of stacked and staggered "tripods". Comprised of groups of three pipes inserted into an aluminum collar, the tripods were pre-assembled, woven with string on the ground, and hoisted in place. Interstitial string surfaces were then woven in between the tripods in the air.

nARCHITECTS exploited the different properties of two weak and supple materials to create a strong yet elastic structural network. Similar to an archer's bow, the pipes were placed in bending and the string in tension to achieve structural integrity as well as a desired range of movement in the wind. The interdependent structural system of string, pipes and collars required a flexible fabrication method. An initial stitching of string through the pipes allowed for improvisation in weaving strategies to provide enclosure, openings or stability. In this way, Windshape's indeterminate structure relied equally on precise translations from digital models as well as in-situ building tactics.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Windshape / nArchitects" 12 Aug 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


tadaki takahashi · May 12, 2012
Yazan AlShamali · May 12, 2012

Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Meunier Guillaume · March 15, 2012

Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

ikkairi · January 21, 2011

Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily via @archdaily - such a beatiful place))

Jet · January 15, 2011

Amazing !! Design :)

Muhammad · January 08, 2012 10:01 PM

Yeahh,,, I agrreee with you

mohamed o. abu shouk · December 24, 2010

thAts AMAZING!! I LOVE!! Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

??? · December 07, 2010

???Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Hernán Martínez D · August 30, 2010

Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily vía @archdaily

lara atassi Azzouz · August 25, 2010

Nice one

Helena Degreas · July 29, 2010

Para hoje sugiro menu leve.Ontem à noite soundmood contra o stress,hoje arquitetura efêmera que segue a forma do vento

Vera Kisel · June 09, 2010

nice subtile structure - Windshape from nArchitects- #architecture

SUNGMIN LEE · May 06, 2010

Reading: "Windshape / nArchitects | ArchDaily"( )

Ralph Lee · November 12, 2009

My client, Kia Motors America would like to use one of your images utilizing students of Savannah College of the Arts (no students visible) in it's Open Road Magazine, issue 5 this coming December 12-26-09. The image is entitled "Windshap" a night scene taken from above.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Ralph Lee, Creative Director

2MACoff · June 14, 2009

?????? ?????????, ????????...

IC1A · November 18, 2010 09:37 PM

da 100 % :D

Lucas Gray · April 14, 2009

Elegant and inspiring!

Julianne-Claire · March 15, 2009

Hello! I really enjoy the term "Ephemeral Pavilion"...
I have two questions, one is if there are, or if it is intended that these strings work like an aeolian harp? (does it make sound?)
Also, curious, if there was a reason why you chose just the mortar (and not the bricks), and the agricultural landscape (the rows), as inspiration?
(if you are busy, I'm more interested in if it makes sound!)
Thanks so much!

Kim · January 14, 2009

Beautiful, just so poetic...

Lauren Armellini · September 04, 2008

I graduated from SCAD (Photography) in 99---so great to see students doing this amazing work!


Comments are closed

Read comments