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Beauty Showcase

>Beauty Showcase

The Festival des Architectures Vives (FAV) is an architectural path for the general public, who can discover or rediscover the historical landmarks of the city of Montpellier. The event invites visitors to go in contact this rich heritage by offering installations scattered around the city. In Montpellier, it takes place in the historic town and offers a path connecting mansions and courtyards, mostly private, that are usually not visible to visitors. Since 2006, the FAV is organized annually by the association Champ Libre, chaired by Jacques Brion and Elodie Nourrigat, architects in Montpellier. The access is completely free and open to all. The 2019 edition of the FAV under the motto “Beauty” received a very positive return share of the public, the frequentation of the festival is in broad increase with a number of visitors higher than 19,000 people.

Each installation created by architects teams allows to highlight the work of a younger generation which is inventing, experimenting and exploring new design of our environment fields. Thus, the festival offers them the opportunity to make a submission through an installation in the heart of the prestigious and remarkable setting offered courses and mansions. Each one opens a dialogue between heritage and contemporary architecture installations.

Teams of the FAV 2019 came from France and from abroad countries. They presented 16 temporary installations, four of which were awarded festival prizes. Its starting point was the Pavilion, where visitors were met and sent along a given route. Here they could get information about the goals and objectives of the festival, get acquainted with the presentations of past years, and also vote for the best installation.

Pavillon du Festival des Archi­tectures Vives 2019 – “THE BIG WAV(ST)E”, WASTE IS MORE – Cyril Rheims & Mathieu Collos, Montpellier, France: Beauty is a question of perspective. Waste isn’t generally considered beautiful, but changing its use (upcycling) can make it sublime. It is time to consider waste as a resource, not a burden. Sterile water cans used in hospitals are not sorted and unfortunately end up in landfills (approx. 30 per day per hospital). This structure is built with 14 self supporting arches of 60 cans each, braced together with threaded rods. The festival’s visitors will be urged to build small interactive creations with the can’s caps.

Jury Award FAV 2019 – “Transformé”, Coralie Casanova et Thibaud Bronchart, Paris, France: “Transformé” is a contemplative and radical installation, which questions the connection between the raw material and the intervention of the architect. It thus evokes Beauty as the result of a process of creation, here architecture, but also as a latent power present in matter itself, which only needs to be revealed. Sand, a giant pearl and the courtyard of a building, classified as a historic monument: here are the three elements that make up the installation. They each embody a stage in the cycle of transformation of matter. Linked in their proportions, the sand, the pearl and the courtyard engage in a dialogue, between the primitive material and the transformed object, the forms drawn by the architect or those modeled by the natural law of gravity. Each highlighting the peculiarities of the other, the installation offers a meditative atmosphere, which invites visitors to look for beauty in its many aspects.

Public Award FAV 2019 – “Le Papillon d’Or”, Cristina Nan, Dirce Medina Patatuchi, Carlos Bausa Martinez, Edinburgh, Scotland / London, England: “Papillon D’Or” is a sculptural parametric installation taking inspiration from the suspended movement in air of a butterfly. The installation represents the team’s personal interpretation of the theme of beauty, concentrating on an abstraction of the butterfly – a symbol of freedom, ephemerality, beauty – and aspects of lightness, colour and the use of light. This temporary installation has been designed with the intention to instigate childlike excitement, by making use of golden dichroic, holographic mirror vinyl, which will refract light and offering visitors various experiences of the installation in relation to different view points. Through the juxtaposition between a modern, computational design and the historic courtyard site, a tension is generated, transforming and redefining the space and the generated spatial impressions of visitors through the use of light and shadow. Both the design and fabrication processes are driven by computational tools: the “Papillon D’Or”, made out of PET and vinyl components is based on a minimal surface, which has been reparametrized and algorithmically optimized and panelized.

Special Mention FAV 2019 – “Notre nid”, Maxence Grangeon, Thonon-les-Bains, France: The visitors are invited to build the nest made of 50 000 clothes pegs put up together. Therefore, this installation doesn’t have an absolute state and puts each visitor at the heart of this living architecture. Because of its playful, participative and evolutionary aspect, the sum therefore induces the trend, timeframe of the beauty. On your clothes pegs... get set... pin!

Special Mention FAV 2019 – “Showcase”, Lopez Rodriguez Enrique, Berriozabal Armesto Inigo, Madrid, Spain / Amsterdam, Netherlands: What is the secret of beauty? For some people, the origin of beauty lays in nature itself. “Showcase” looks into the microscope scale of nature, using the butterfly and dragonfly as paradigm of beauty. The symmetry, the colors and proportions, the harmony of the waving moves and the fragility of the wings make them some of the most graceful creatures. Nevertheless, beauty does not last forever. It is ephemeral. And in a failed attempt to control it, humans decide to imprison it, freeze it, turning it into a showcase object. The insects, over-scaled and out of context, float framed by the courtyard, as if it was on a science catalogue. This installation invites the public to also look around and find beauty on the nature that surrounds them. It brings color sifted light to the courtyard creating a new perception of the space and a new way to look at nature.

Festival des Architectures Vives