- Clients: Le festival des cabanes
- Design Team: Katharina Haas, Pierre-Henri Petillault, Fanny Farge, Pascal Nagy
- City: Giez
- Country: France
Text description provided by the architects. JCPCDR Architecture won the international competition «Le festival des cabanes» for the construction of an ephemeral cabin in the heart of Lake Annecy in France: made with local wood and built entirely on site by the architects. Nestled under the trees, between glade and forest, «the observatory» offers a point of view on the surrounding wilderness, through the prism of contemporary architecture.
Its openwork structure draws a micro-course, leading the walker or «observer» to a small elevated platform, judiciously oriented to provide a view overlooking the landscape. This circulation is studied and determined by several aspects, in order to enhance and integrate the site. The ramp leading to the platform, accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, complements the existing slope of the ground. The wooden slats filter the light of day, in a play of chiaroscuro echoing the forest and the clearing : the visitor enters the observatory under an opaque roof, gets used to this dark atmosphere, before moving towards the point of view, bathed in light.
With its double-pitched roof and warm proportions, the observatory recalls the vernacular image of a traditional cabin or cottage, reinvented through graphic lines. Perfectly integrated into its natural environment, it allows not only to observe the fauna and flora, but participates to the local ecosystem, thanks to its porous design, permeable to plants and species that would likely find refuge there.
Throughout the seasons, the contemporary architectural object becomes a showcase for its envi- ronment, a complete experience. The structure of the observatory, made entirely of fir, is both simple and ingenious. Its design favors straight and continuous lines, in order to highlight the essence of wood and to obtain an elegant style, without compromise, complementary to the abundant vegetation that surrounds it. This simplicity also guarantees a perfect quality of execution.