maison W, or 'the pleated house' mimics the undulating geological folds of its alpine context
 

maison W, or 'the pleated house' mimics the undulating geological folds of its alpine context

beneath the alpine ridge lines of the pic de charance in france is nestled the undulating maison W, ‘the pleated house.’ the transformative, folding dwelling is designed by architects christophe benichou and virgile ponsoye as a place for healing within architecture, with its defining occupiable windows introducing a modular cocoon habitat. the project commits to pay tribute to its setting. in dialogue with its mountainous context, the house is partially embedded into the topography, with its main level access buried. projecting outward from the terrain, a sweeping, green rooftop terrace suggests an extension of the alpine meadows.

maison W pleated house
images © christophe benichou

 

 

christophe benichou and virgile ponsoye’s maison W, ‘the pleated house’ both integrates into the landscape, and actively participates in it. the dynamic house playfully alternates between mimicry and abstraction, as the deformation of the facade resonates with the geological folds of its mountainous context. the use of rugged, sandblasted concrete camouflaged with a green roof suggests a continuation of the limestone outcroppings of the charance. standing as powerful relief of concrete and glass, the pleated house is the fruit of a double hybrid: between city and nature and between mountainous and mediterranean climates.

maison W pleated house

 

 

christophe benichou and virgile ponsoye design their maison W, ‘the pleated house’ as a mineral volume, sunken into the slope. this strategy serves as a contemporary interpretation of the protective cave, introducing a place of refuge while at the same time projecting outward over the landscape from the intimate slit of the embedded entrance. the rational organization is disrupted by the folding of the facade, reflected in the undulations of the plan. over the entire length of the house, the walls fold and unfold in a motionless movement that guides the visitor and gives rhythm to the space.

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MaisonW-the-pleated-house-designboom-08

 

 

project info:

 

project title: maison W / the pleated house

architecture: christophe benichou & virgile ponsoye

location: pic de charance, france 

client: SAS LUMI

circular window spaces: lumicene

images: © christophe benichou

 

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