Text: Iuliana Dumitru;
Design & rendering: Christophe Benichou
Christophe Benichou is a young French architect who believes in a “narrative and sensorial” architecture, an architecture that creates (and disrupts) meanings, located on the delicate – but generous – border between what we are and what we wish to be.
In 2015, he began to work on a series of possible projects – Architectural Fictions – imagining experiments that reinterpret archetypal architectural forms and spaces, such as the cave, the nomadic habitat, the urban house or the belvedere. These “fictions” are virtual structures often inspired by the specificity of a certain place, and they project new possible rapports between the individual and their environment. The design – Minimalist, radical, essentialized and often elliptic – creates the premises of a closeness and re-semantization on the part of the viewer. Christophe Benichou confesses that the exercises comprised in this series bring homage to imagination and architectural sensitivity.
Here are a few projects that are part of these Architectural fictions:
- “Sesame”, the lone, introspective monolith placed in the open immensity of the desert, a contemporary reinterpretation of sanctuary and ruin. Its cavities subtly direct light and shadow, without offering a direct view to the exterior.
- In counterpoint, the project called “The Wall of Logs” dislocates material from a huge, solid natural structure. Inspired by a mountain hike, the wall transforms, from an obstacle that blocks the view to the landscape, to an open, transparent structure, where the void colonizes the full and blurs the borders.
- Imagined as a space of relaxation on the crest of the most iconic mountain of the Montpellier region, the Pic Saint-Loup, the “Tip Box” sits suspended on the brink of the precipice, embracing the spectacular landscape and, at the same time, inviting backpackers and adventurers to contemplate the abyss, the vertigo and the immensity of nature. The place offers a generous view to a horizon that contains both the Mediterranean Sea and the Cevennes Mountains.
Other projects by architect Christophe Benichou, including architectural animation films, can be discovered here.