Architects: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
- Area: 120 m²
- Year: 2020
Photographs:James Reeve, Stéphane ABOUDARAM | WE ARE CONTENT(S)
- Local Architects: Demaria Architecture
- Client: Chàteau La Coste/Paddy Mc Killen
- Internal Fit Out: SCEA Château La Coste, IDME France, ACM France
- Specialist Engineers: Hasson Engineering Solutions
- Building Enclosure Engineer: Setanta Construction
- Steel Works: Bysteel
- City: Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade
- Country: France
Text description provided by the architects. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) with Château La Coste are pleased to present the completion of Richard Rogers’ final work begun before his retirement from practice in June 2020. Château La Coste, a 500-acre area of outstanding natural beauty is an internationally renowned destination for art and architecture.
Set in Château La Coste’s vineyard, the Richard Rogers Drawing Gallery is a 120m2 gallery space that cantilevers off a hillside amongst trees above a historic Roman track, overlooking the ancient ruin of La Quille and the Luberon National Park. It joins the Château La Coste’s Architectural & Art Walk, amongst pavilions by renowned architects including, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando and Jean Nouvel.
In 2011, Richard was invited to choose a place in the landscape that spoke directly to him and was given the freedom to design a gallery that would live there. The remote and unusual location selected required a bespoke design and fabrication. Designed to have the lightest of touches on the area and its ecology, the building cantilevers out 27-metres to a point 18-metres above the heavily wooded site. Its delicate joints and expressed elements support the lightweight extruded gallery, clad in a naturally finished satin steel, softly mirroring the surrounding landscape.
The external orange steel beams taper as the construction floats outwards into mid-air. Where the building touches the ground, it does so subtly, belying the robust engineering below ground that supports the structure from just one end. Industrial in nature but with elegant handcrafted details, the building is itself a sculpture in this landscape.
You leave the terra firma of the old Roman track and transition across a lightweight bridge to the cantilevering gallery. Walking through the support structure it is here where the visitor experiences a sensation of almost floating. The gallery’s single rectangular room frames a view of the landscape through the 5x4m opening at its furthest end, beyond extends a terrace, above which the eaves gently jut out buffering the light between inside and out.
The physics of the building, cantilevering as it is in combination with the region’s seismic activity, requires bridge type engineering and construction techniques. The building and its materials needed to be flexible. The cables at the entrance that ground the structure contract and expand, sensitive even to the local climate’s fluctuating temperatures. The poured resin gallery floor flexes in harmony with the structure.