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Contributor: Lucie Cluzan, Jean-Charles Lidell, Elke Mittmann, Maison de l'Architecture Centre

Loire & Loges

Microarchitectures, a vector of transitional exchanges

Microarchitectures in the form of huts or cabins have existed since man started building. A place for reflection and isolation, they also prove extraordinary escapes to regulations and conventions and represent an exceptional experimental field for today’s architecture. This was recently demonstrated in all of the 275 projects that entered the competition Loire & Loge aimed at young architects, designers and landscapists under 30 years of age from 30 different countries and organised by Tour’s Maison de l’architecture du Centre – Val de Loire et la Jeune Chambre Économique. The jury was made up of professionals: Portuguese architectural practice Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus, architects Clément Blanchet and Didier Faustino, the Mission Unesco Val de Loire, etc.

Participants were invited to revisit the “vineyard hut”, a small vernacular edifice commonly found in the Touraine and Berry departments, to invent a daytime shelter for tourist cyclist on the tourism cycling path Loire à Vélo®. One of these building built by Colin Baillie (Scotland) was implanted in Savennières. Another by Camille Tréchot and David Palussière (France) was built at Chouzé-sur-Loire. Both offer a complete immersion in the exceptional landscape of the Indre-et-Loire, which is part of the Unesco world heritage.

The atypical commission resulting from a competition demonstrated that it is possible to conciliate all scales – locally and internationally – in a dynamic of circular economy and that the creators of the future can convey innovation in the field of architecture.

To complete this project, local tourism actors came together around the creation of new transitional places for encounters and exchanges. Two communes had to be convinced of the soundness of the implantation of a vineyard hut on their territories, in a word, awareness as to a contemporary architectural language in rural areas had to be raised.

The construction of the two laureate projects was made possible through the mutualization of financial contributions and in public and private industries: Ministry of Culture, city and agglomeration of Tours, the Mission Unesco Val de Loire, companies Eternit Equitone and Nexity for the most part. The completion of the project was handled by young apprentices from the Indre-et-Loire (37) and Loir-et-Cher (41) Centre de Formation des Apprentis du Bâtiment and proved the occasion for a veritable didactic and pedagogical project.