Christophe Benichou's latest project is the architectural animated short film Windbracing that pays homage to a French science fiction book by Alain Damasio, entitled “La Horde du Contrevent” or Windwalkers. The movie offers “a sensory dive” in a universe freely inspired by the author of the novel, and challenges the spectators’ prejudices.
The architect created and realized the tribute with the help of a team that handled text, effects, music, and 3d animation. The story of the book, portrays, “in a wind-swept world, a super-trained troop attempts each generation to walk upstream to the source of that permanent breath, hoping to find it a meaning. This philosophical epic is a magnificent praise to the link, and a superb thought on the relation to the constraint and the surpassing of oneself.” In fact, the architectural movie honors these values. It is an invitation to question the first impressions a viewer can have.
Windbracing stages a hamlet in the wind, a sort of petrification of the Horde, whose fixity or movement seems uncertain. -- Christophe Benichou
Read on to discover in Benichou’s words, the full description of his architectural movie.
Its habitats form a diamond-shaped network, housing a nurturing heart and an agora. At the back, a wind organ produces for the downstream the story of an exchange with the movement, and, like a rudder, seems to direct the hamlet towards the origin of the wind. The network is unified by a protective crater and wall system, an homage to the vineyards of the Geria in Lanzarote, whose windy volcanic slopes, desolate and beautiful, inspired the environment of Windbracing.
It is a project sculpted by the aeraulic constraints but also works on the inclusion, interdependence, and connection to the whole. The geometric figures combine to complement each other: the square is nestled in the circle and then folds into triangles to accompany the wind. A game of homothety then resonates with the element and the whole, the habitat in the hamlet, and the hamlet in the infinite, story of cooperation and harmony essential to life.
- Text: Zoé Guillot
- Effects: Antony Pastor
- Music: Thomas Martin
- Animation 3D: Thibaut Miossec
- Concept & realization: Christophe Benichou