discover this small eco-museum nestled in the heart of the french alps

discover this small eco-museum nestled in the heart of the french alps


‘four à chaux’ eco-museum by chatillon architectes


Nestled on the outskirts of the Cons-Sainte-Colombe village in the heart of the French Alps, the ‘Four à Chaux’ eco-museum perfectly illustrates Chatillon Architectes‘ philosophy of transformation over demolition. Under the request of a departmental archaeologist, the practice has restored 19th and 20th century ruins of kilns once used for artisanal lime production — transforming them into a small exhibition hub that recounts their history while offering sweeping views of the mountainous surroundings. four a chaux 1
all images © Véronique Nosbaum



recounting the history of the ruins through simple material interventions


The materials used for the ‘Four à Chaux’ were sourced directly from the surrounding area, namely crushed stone from a nearby quarry to feed the kilns and fir wood from the encircling forests. Inside the eco-museum, Chatillon Architectes (see more here) installed a conical parapet evoking the brick lining in the combustion chambers. Additionally, a glass floor allows visitors to see the residue left by the last batch fired before the kilns ceased operating. At the base of the mouth of each of the two kilns, circular glass panels inserted in the covering indicate the natural pathway of the smoke and combustion gases. 

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As a closing reflection, Chatillon Architectes notes:’There is no boundary between creation and the restoration of ancient constructions, between heritage and its contemporary projection.’ Completed almost two decades ago, the project won the 2006 Rhone-Alpes heritage prize. 

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project info:


name: Four à Chaux

location: Cons-Sainte-Colombe, Rhône-Alpes, France
architecture: Chatillon Architectes
photography: Véronique Nosbaum



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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