France – Spanish architects SelgasCano completed a transparent pavilion which takes over an open courtyard of Fondation d’enterprise Martell in Cognac, France. The project is composed of corrugated plastic sheets shaping an undulating landscape permeated by a soft, changing light which creates intriguing iridescent effects.
Yellow PVC cushions filled with water anchor the structures to the ground while also providing places for people to sit or lie down.
The first project in France by Josè Selgas and Lucìa Cano will house a rich program of art and design events promoted by Martell historic Maison. True to studio’s aesthetic of transparency and openness to the outside world, the 2.350 sqm pavilion is made from a metal framework covered by 1 mm thick polyester and fiberglass material developed by French brand Onduline.
“We wanted to work with just one material which needed to be accessible and available in large quantities. It also needed to be light as lightness has been a constant and integral aspect of our work.” Explain Josè Selgas and Lucìa Cano.
“Such thinness and appearance reminded us of traditional Japanese rice paper. Suddenly, the whole exercise became about discovering a way to work with paper – rice paper, fiberglass paper – and finding a way to play with its shape so as to make it as rigid as possible.”
The result is a a vast paper forest which you could enter, walk around and get lost in. “Obviously, when we had to make it real, buildable. We leaned on a couple of additional materials, like steel bars adapted to the paper shape, and – as we couldn’t touch the courtyard floor – we added some yellow cushions filled with water to prevent the paper from blowing away”.
All images by Iwan Baan, courtesy of SelgasCano and Fondation d’enterprise Martell.
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