Three Japanese Young Architects To Breathe New Life Into an Iconic French Castle

Three Japanese Young Architects To Breathe New Life Into an Iconic French Castle

Hiroshi Toda, Mitsuki Shibairi, Kahara Mori are the three members of team D-D-D rewarded with the 1st Prize and a “Castle Choice” Mention at the COMMON RUINS international competition held by ​YAC - Young Architects Competitions and Mothe Chandeniers​ .

The competition sinks its roots in the amazing crowdfund action Dartagnans achieved in 2018 by purchasing a fairy castle in France, near the Loire Valley, thanks to more than 27, 910 shareholders’ donations. After that historic purchase, a wide stakeholders’ community was founded and Mothe Chandeniers invited designers to highlight the natural fascination of the castle in order to transform it into a destination of contemplation and relax for tourists and visitors from all over the world.

Hundreds of designers and architects from all over the world took part in this challenge by submitting their creative and innovative ideas to forestall its ultimate destruction and bring back life to one of the most fascinating ruins in the world. The 1st prize has been awarded to the Japanese team “D-D-D”, the 2nd prize to the Italian team “Blonde Architects” and the 3rd prize to the Iranian team “Parisa Davoudi-Ali Habibianfar”. Four Gold Mentions have been awarded to the Portuguese team “Mesa atelier”, to the Italian team “A2A”, and to the Russian teams “AI Architects” and “Victoria Tsygankova”. 10 Honorable Mentions and 30 Finalist Mentions round out the podium for this huge and international competition.

Team D-D-D: Hiroshi Toda, Mitsuki Shibairi, Kahara Mori

The Japanese D-D-D team impressed the whole jury that featured, among the others, Anish Kapoor, Rudy Ricciotti, Edoardo Tresoldi, Dagur Eggertsson and was awarded the 1st Prize consisting in € 10,000 + the “Castle Choice” Mention appointed by the stakeholders community of Mothe Chandeniers.

© D-D-D

“We thought this devastated castle of Mothe Chandeniers is worthwhile. Then, look at this ruins from all directions and plan hotel complex that can feel decaying beautifully. We make plans for the castle that the ground and the surface of the water so as not to hurt as much as possible, and not to hurt the landscape. The castle plays a role as a gate for the hotel complex. Taking advantage of the shape of the topography of the site, make volumes at the water's edge and underground. Passing through the castle tower, courtyard, room (garden) along the slope that allowed the axes of the castle, you can enter the hotel’s entrance when you get down to the basement from the ripped water surface. From the corridor that surrounds the water's edge, you can see the ruins in panorama, people can experience the ruins from a new viewpoint underground. In addition to the subjective view from the inside of the ruins, you can also view this objectively. Through this program, I hope that history, nature and architecture will unite and become a place with new value for people to gather from the ruins.” explained the winners."

2nd PRIZE 
Team Blonde Architects: Andrea Carpentieri

© Blonde Architects

"Since the castle got abandoned, the nature took over this human place. The castle became a place of silence, contemplation, and beauty, a perfect example of what could be a unique place for meditation. Based on this great potential, the project aims to transform the castle, and the areas around, into a great meditation and wellness center capable of attracting people from the oppressive life of the cities. The project goal is to celebrate the beauty of the castle and its history."

Team Parisa Davoudi-Ali Habibianfar: Pirooz Shadanpour, Ali Habibianfar, Parisa Davoudi

© Parisa Davoudi-Ali Habibianfar

"The main goal of the project is to grow the imagination of the castle's visitors. To achieve this goal, the half-ruined castle will be restored up to the point which protects and maintains it, with the help of half-ruined walls and the nature born inside of it due to this decline of the castle, and the dreamy sky full of clouds which created the dreamy sleepy setting by becoming the ceiling of the spaces."

Team Mesa atelier: João Varela, Ana Santos, João Tavares, Paulo Dias

© Mesa atelier

"The Castle of Mothe Chandeniers is the evidence that only great buildings are able to become great ruins. The idea of the project involves the strategic placement of new buildings that revitalize the entire property. These buildings make the creation of a new hierarchy that will integrate the already existing buildings, water channels, and routes."

Team A2A: Andrea Fortunati, Angela Posse

© A2A

"In 1790, Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Judgement divides the Sublime into Dynamics...and the Mathematical. Ironically, Mothe Chandenier is a conjunction of both: the ruined proof of the tremendous power of Mother Earth and the acquiesced acceptance of timelessly flowing nature. The project wants to highlight these aspects, refusing to touch the castle, leaving it as a mythical Piranesian ruin, where the man is just an observer to the magnificence of time."

Team AI Architects: Ivan Kolmanok, Tomashenko Alexandr, Alexander Sokolov, Yuriy Sheredega, Mariia Pakhomova, Anastasia Belenko, Andrew Likhachev

© AI Architects

"At this moment Chateau de la Mothe-Chandeniers is represented as a ruin of walls and towers, this proposal provides ways to occupy the remaining structures of the castle in a soft way. The architectural intervention is a continuous route of total form with communication and flattened functional blocks."

Team Victoria Tsygankova

© Victoria Tsygankova

"The thesis of my project is a Museum without a place. I wanted to think about how having a physical place, a new object would be metaphorically absent. In this case, the Museum is not a wardrobe with trophies, but a sense of elusive life that has filled this place for centuries. I wanted it to be a reflection of the harmony and beauty of the past."

Learn more about the competition and the other projects awarded by the jury at

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Cite: Sponsored Post. "Three Japanese Young Architects To Breathe New Life Into an Iconic French Castle" 26 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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