Vass Municipal Campground / Julien Boidot

© Stéphane Chalmeau

Architect: Julien Boidot architect
Location: Rue du port Liberge, 72500 Vaas,
Client: City of Vaas
Project Area: 120 sqm
Budget: 197.000 €
Project Year: 2007-2008
Construction Year: 2009
Photographs: Stéphane Chalmeau

The campground is well situated in the heart of the Loire Valley between the river, a forest of large chestnut trees and a 15th century village.

The initial program proposed the renovation of the existing facility; however, while defining the objectives of the project with the elected officials in the commune the need for a new building became evident.

© Stéphane Chalmeau

The rehabilitation of the Vaas municipal campground centers around three strategies that have guided the conception of the project.

Highlight the site by creating both a natural and built environment

To achieve this, three new structures were carefully placed on the site.

The reception pavilion indicates the entrance and represents the establishment. Programmatically, it is used to welcome guests and administer their comings and goings as well as dispense tourist information, bike rental etc.

floor plan

The bathhouse relies on three existing trees to determine its placement. It provides the campers privacy from the nearby recreational fields while framing a view of the nearby Hôtel de ville and church bell tower in the historically recognized hamlet.

The pattern of new concrete paths and benches create a network of paths that allow for a variety of daily commutes in and around the center. While ushering users into the facilities, the hardscape also provides a visual gradation from the natural to the built environments.

© Stéphane Chalmeau
© Stéphane Chalmeau

Renew the image of the campground through the use of an elementary wood architecture

The pavilions are simple wooden volumes that drew inspiration from the local vernacular. Although topped with gable roofs of corrugated steel, they are primarily wooden structures. Wood is used structurally but also in the facade of vertical cladding. It provides warmth and comfort, both acoustic and hygrometric, for the users, while responding to the desire for construction that is more environmentally respectful.

© Stéphane Chalmeau

Optimize use and maintenance

The use of sustainable and durable materials along with the careful consideration of construction and functional details assure a simplified upkeep.

Cite: "Vass Municipal Campground / Julien Boidot" 15 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • Joe Klein

    nothing “special/passion”

    custom – to expensive
    cheap custom – to much thought
    changing to way you view livability / beauties least effort of all.

    I like it.

  • Benito

    I like the simplicity and the overall design but for me there are two points which I dislike:

    1. The chipboard internal cladding has a cheap, temporary feel to it which does nothing to enhance the comfort of those dwelling within; in fact it has the opposite effect. The fact that it is cheap and ‘sustainable’ seems more like a gimmick coming at the cost of the wellbeing of the inhabitants.

    2. The parts where there are some chipboard panels missing revealing the steel construction of the roof seems contrived.

    Other than these two points I really like the scheme.

    • Eric

      i agree with statement above. i like it. the design is nice, simple and cheap, but the choice of wood is what gets me. yes, it is supposed to be cheap, so i understand the use of chipboard but you can still be cheap and use plywood that actually has visible wooden grains to increase the overall appearance. and to go from the nice wood on the facade to chipboard on the interior, it would disappoint me to walk inside expecting to see the same wood from the outside but finding chipboard instead.

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  • mike

    I hate to say it cuz it probably sounds very harsh, but this remindes me of the wooden barracks in old nazi concentration camps!

    • Dan

      I agree with the comparison, and don’t think it’s unduly harsh to say so.

      I also agree with Benito’s evaluation that the ‘sustainability’ of the project is at the cost of the inhabitants experience – I would go even further and say that this architects interpretation of sustainability it is at the cost of the success of the project.

      The terms ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainability’ are thrown around too infrequently, and too undeservedly in order to earn below par projects ‘eco credentials’.

  • The Author

    Hope the occupants have rebreathers to wear before they enter. It’s formaldehyde city in there with all that exposed OSB. IAQ fail. I love how architects think throwing any sort of wood into a design makes it ‘sustainable’. OSB is anything but.

  • Arthur

    Great job! simple and clean. And I totally disagree with the comparison, the attention to detail and generous openings make this pavillon closer to the spirit of Murcutt than concentration camps (???). This project has recently been shortlisted for best first architecture work in France so…Keep up the good work!

  • lily

    I really love this.It make me feel the place where the spirit of human is.


    We visted campsite Municapal Vass summer 2009 most enjoyable facilities very good met Mayor and Lauren Blin made us most welcome lovely village local people very friendly.
    great improvement to site!

  • research

    Such a simple expression of traditional form is well paired with the raw interiors. Also, its placement on the site makes this otherwise standalone arrangement feel like place from all sides. Nice proportions in the ‘courtyard’ as well.