Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates
- Area: 2500 m²
- Year: 2016
Photographs:Michel Denancé, CAUE / Béatrice Cafieri
Text description provided by the architects. Les Houches is a small village situated in the French Alpes, close to one of its most important peaks, the Mont-Blanc. The aim was to integrate as naturally as possible the project into the extraordinary mountainous landscape.
The project host Blue Ice company which design and manufactures product for climbing and mountaineering as well as a business incubator. It constitute thus a micro hub in mountain equipment creation.
Our idea was to create a wide roof perforated by lines of light running from north to south, following the natural slope, under which the program is implemented. The terrace in the middle of the roof offers a panoramic 360 degree view to the mountain ranges surrounding the building.
Wooden boards of natural oak envelop the building creating an irregular rhythm both in the façade and in the roof. The intention was to keep the natural and rough aspect of the oak, so we decided to keep the bark as well as to not add any treatments so to highlight the natural aspect of the wood.
The large atrium creates a link between the north and main entrance with the views towards the mountains on the South. A maximum of modularity is foreseen for all the working areas and a double height space ensures maximum views to the exterior while giving the users bright and generous working spaces.