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Construire / Patrick Bouchain et Loïc Julienne, in Beaumont, Ardèche

Les Bogues du Blat

Rural Social Housing in the Ardèche Cévennes

The Drobie valley, like the whole of the Ardèche area, has undergone a slow process of agricultural abandonment for more than a century, its steep slopes being too restrictive for mechanized agriculture. This change engendered a major rural exodus that reached its peak in the 1970’s. Recently, the valley has experienced new residential and tourist interest, which has created numerous amenities, not always adapted to the challenges of local development.

The Beaumont commune has embarked on construction and development projects to support sustainable development in the face of growing demand for building land or traditional housing. The Blat hamlet was chosen to accommodate a new residential zone and the commune entrusted an architect with the project of creating a rural social habitat based on the house as a basic unit, all the while giving the opportunity to the hamlet’s social group.

The Construire team’s response made it possible to go further than initial intentions, to open up the commission to their experimental approach and to question the possibility of different ways of building. Entrepeneurs, future residents, architects and artists were consulted throughout the project in order to make the construction a cultural act.

Each house is located astride several restanques[1] and is served by a private road, but parking spaces are grouped together and kept away from the dwellings. The faïsses[2] that are not privately owned may be used for common gardens.

Initial construction consists of an arched frame, its cladding and the layout of the ground floor alone (with living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom). After that, two options are possible: simple rental with the possibility, among others, for the tenant to extend the living area into spaces left free; or progressive acquisition of the property as part of a set-up defined with the client.

[1] Restanque is a term used for drystone retaining walls built on steep slopes to establish cultivating terrasses.

[2] Land in strips used for agriculture on steep slopes long deforested.

First batch of 3 houses and 4 dwellings/ lodgings: September 2013

Second batch of 3 houses: January 2017

Patrons: Members of Beaumont’s municipal council and Pascal Waldschmidt, mayor of Beaumont, Jacqueling Nielle and Jean-Remi Durand-Gasselin, mayoral deputies.

Funding: Fondation de France, Rhône-Alpes region, General Council of Ardèche (Cap Territoire), Monts d’Ardèche Regional Nature Park (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Leader.)

+ book link:

The Bogues de Blat experiment was the subject of a publication including the story of the commission and Patrick Bouchain’s study book. Captures éditions, 2018

presentation folder, September 2013 – pdf pdf


crédits photographiques Loïc Julienne et Phoebé Meyer

Lani Maestro in Bataville , Lorraine


Le site de Bataville est né en 1931 à l’initiative de Tomáš Bata, fondateur du groupe industriel du même nom. Il compte 2 700 ouvriers en 1939, 840 en 2001. La délocalisation des activités en 2002 débouche sur le licenciement de 800 personnes. Au moment de la commande quelques entreprises étaient implantées sur le site qui accueillait aussi l’ancienne Communauté de communes du Pays des étangs, installée dans l’ancien magasin d’usine.

En 2010, Bataville entre dans une phase intermédiaire de son évolution. L’association La Chaussure Bataville, en collaboration avec les collectivités locales, a souhaité développer un projet culturel et économique qui accompagne cette mutation. Comment faire coexister la mémoire encore vive d’une cité organisée autour du travail à l’usine et la possibilité d’autres usages ?

Lani Maestro envisage sa proposition comme l’«antithèse du lieu et du travail industriels» et comme un espace collectif. Limen — mot latin qui signifie « seuil », «passage d’un état vers un autre » — est le titre de cette sculpture. C’est une structure ajourée composée d’une longue plateforme surmontée d’une charpente de bois. Elle évoque le tunnel et le pont par le rythme régulier de ses travées et sa fonction de passage.

L’œuvre invite à la promenade et au repos comme « manière d’être avec soi-même », s’anime de notre présence et de celle des autres. Elle est installée entre l’ancienne cantine et le site de production, près d’un

communiqué de presse, avril 2014 – pdf

commanditaires : Commune de Moussey, d’anciens salariés des usines Bata et association La Chaussure Bataville

soutien : Parc naturel régional de Lorraine dans le cadre du programme européen LEADER (Fonds européen agricole pour le Développement rural), Fondation de France, Drac Lorraine, Région Lorraine, Département de la Moselle


crédits photographiques Phoebé Meyer

Liliana Motta in Bataville

In pursuit of the Paysage industriel (Industrial landscape) programme carried out in partnership with Lorraine Regional Nature Park and the commissioning of a guide plan by Notre Atelier Commun, the former Pays des Étangs Community of Communes wished to reflect on pollution issues at the Bataville site.

A phytoremediation studio has been set up with the Le Laboratoire du Dehors (Outside Laboratory). Its approach consists in particular in experimenting with “economical management solutions capable of gradually building an original structure by transforming the premises through gardeners’ gestures.” The action goes beyond the site and opens up onto big landscape, up to the canal. For her research, the artist wished to connect with the Lorraine University Soils and Environment Laboratory – UMR 1120, under Geoffrey Serré’s direction: Doctor, Geological Engineer, ENSAIA lecturer.

The way through Bataville’s polluted lands

 “Many of these sites are considered polluted because products that alter or compromise their quality and proper use have been identified in the soil, the subsoil and possibly in the groundwater…(…) This pollution is likely to become a nuisance or a long-term risk for people and the environment, it is important not to forget these polluted lands, not to hide them from contemporaries and future generations. And this is why we have to experiment, take care of this land, make it alive again (…).”

A path was built along the meadow following the alignment of the willows in parallel, and crossing the woods to reach the Canal. This construction was accompanied by spatial analysis, traces of the past, soil quality, visible and invisible pollution, of the vegetation in presence. 

It is by looking towards Bataville that we see the Canal. This landscape setting establishes a link between the Bataville site, the ponds/ lakes, the canals and the forest.

The ambition was also to restore the old factory landscape with a new identity built from its geographic and sensitive territory.

The path can be maintained by school groups or technicians from the commune.

Read: Report and conclusions/ Bataville landscape as experience – The way.

Bataville, le paysage comme expérience – le cheminement – juin 2017 – pdf


soutien : la communauté de communes du Pays des étangs, Fondation de France


Notre Atelier Commun in Bataville

As part of the Industrial Landscape programme led with the Lorraine Regional Nature Park, the Pays des Étangs Community of Communes and different local associations wished to continue their reflection on the industrial memory of the Bataville site in Moselle. After an initial commission awarded to Lani Maestro, whose work Limen was inaugurated in 2014, Notre Atelier Commun was commissioned to develop a guide plan.

How can Bataville survive without Bata? Aside from the necessary reconversion of the old working class city, a whole model of society needs to be reinvented. Aware that the site’s evolution had to be based on a finer understanding of values inherited from the past and on new uses, the Patrons wanted to conduct a prefigurative study to secure the transition of patrimony between past, present and future.

Notre Atelier Commun’s response first took shape during the working process. Convinced that one must live in a place to understand it, and that one cannot imagine a future at a distance without the residents and the territory’s protagonists, NAC settled in Bataville for a year and initiated about ten public meetings with the Fairground University between October 2015 and September 2016.

The guide plan, submitted in September 2016, builds on these discussions to propose three major directions: making Bataville a space of freedom and innovation favourable to new emerging systems; creating connections between people (newcomers, residents, former employees) and between activities so that the site becomes a common, shared space; reclaiming know-how by reconnecting with the craft industry and promoting small-scale production.

Plan guide plan’s conclusion et des mains

Financial Partners: Natural regional Parc / Lorraine, communauté de communes du Pays des étangs, la Fondation de France / New Patrons Program

Jessica Stockholder in Toulouse

Los Pès del parpalhòl (The butterfly’s feet)

At the request of the associative school Calandreta Còsta Pavada (Occitan-French bilingual school), Jessica Stockholder created a practical work, a play and living space.

In 2007, in association with the teachers and activity leaders, the parents of pupils commissioned a work for the school yard to promote sensory experiences, meeting and exchange for children between three and ten years old. The sculpture should be capable of embodying some of the school’s founding ideas: a spirit of tolerance, curiosity, openness to foreign languages and cultures.

Jessica Stockholder’s proposal comprises a “workable” sculpture made in bright colours and varied materials: marble, wood, Corian, concrete and brick. It is composed of a set of geometric forms of low height that unfold and are organised around a central point covered by a rectangular structure in plasticized sheet metal. This structure can act as a space for play/ self-staging, and shows volume and passage. The floor drawing in aluminium near the red marble disc, as well as the shape of the larch planter, take elements from the Occitan cross. “The Occitan cross is quite abstract in the work,” writes Stockholder. “I’m responding to the fact that it wasn’t present anywhere in the school when I visited it (…).”

The Calandreta Còsta Pavada school could not finally accommodate the work. It was agreed to donate it to the town of Toulouse and to install it in the Musée des Abattoirs hemicyle, near the educational workshops/ studios.

dossier de presse, avril 2013 – pdf

commanditaire : association Calandreta Còsta Pavada, Toulouse

Soutien : Fondation de France / Nouveaux commanditaires, ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DGCA, DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), Ville de Toulouse,

Patron: Calandreta Còsta Pavada association, Toulouse

Funding: Fondation de France / New Patrons, Minister of Culture and Communnication (DGCA, DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), the town of Toulouse, Syndicat mixte des Abattoirs


crédits photographiques Jessica Stockholder (toutes) sauf Jean-François Peiré–Drac Midi-Pyrénées (9)

Investigation of the/our Outside – Valence-le-Haut, 24th April 2012

Alejandra Riera with neighbourhood users and residents. 

The Fontbarlettes quarter is part of the Valence-le-Haut complex, known as a coherent new city project in the 1960’s, though ultimately the scheme remained unfinished. The patrons, noting a stigmatisation of the neighbourhood, wanted to give the locals a voice, understand how they appropriated the space and their perception of a bigger “outside” likely to invite different interpretation.
Alejandra Riera made several visits to Valence during which she spoke at length with neighbourhood residents, proposed meetings, projected films and organised communal “actions” in different places. With these residents she conceived the filming sessions for her “film-document”. The result is a film and a publication, thought and produced simultaneously, but which function in an autonomous and complementary manner.
The film combines different images such as archives, text images and mises en scène with the residents. In her practice, Alejandre Riera calls “film-documents” a singular manner not only of making films, but of “exceeding” them, that is to say, “thinking of film-documents (…) as outside the scope of film itself, which would constitute a document of its time, adding to its own space the more uncertain space of historical, temporal, affective discontinuities.”
The publication presents itself like an investigative report. It is composed of retrieved pages ¬– the first notes on conversations with the residents – accompanied by footnotes written by Alejandra Riera and image plates with captions inviting new thought for reflection.
Throughout the film and the report, in the dialogue between plates and text, sounds and images, witness accounts, comments and citations, multiple passages become visible or probable, beyond the separation established between the supposed centre and its periphery.

press release, April 2012 – pdf

légende image : Vue partielle, 11 novembre 2008. Gare de Lyon, Paris, palmier en pot, «Butia Yatay, origine : Argentine, Brésil»

Investigation of the/our outside (Valence-le-Haut)) (2007-…) on the 24th April 2012, an image of collective thought on the place in which we live. Alejandra Riera with residents of the Fontbarlettes district.
Twelve Exchanges, “Footnotes” and thirty-nine images and captions
21 x 29.6cm, stitched notebooks, hardback, 352 pages.
800 copies
ISBN 978 2 953391275

Captures éditions   Captures éditions in partnership with art3, Valence.

commanditaires : des habitant(e)s de Fontbarlettes avec l’association Le MAT

L’Enquête sur le / notre dehors a été initiée dans le cadre de l’action Nouveaux commanditaires proposée par la Fondation de France.

médiation–production : Valérie Cudel / à demeure, en partenariat avec Imagine / Issy-les-Moulineaux et art3 / Valence

soutien : Fondation de France, ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Centre national des arts plastiques (Image-Mouvement) / DRAC Rhône-Alpes, Région Rhône-Alpes, Département de la Drôme

Joëlle Tuerlinckx in Cransac

The Cransac Triangular
“Memory Museum – Universal Property®”

Before it was a mining town in the 19th century, Cransac was a village known for its hydrotherapy. After the mines closed in 1961, the city became a spa town again, but collective memory remains tied to its mining past. Changes in landscape and social behaviour are thus essential ideas in Cransac’s recent history.

By using an artist, the patron wanted to go further than commemoration. If the consideration of industrial and mining history remains important, the articulation of past and present must show new concerns related to thermal activity and the evolution of the urban landscape.

The town chose internationally renowned artist, Joëlle Tuerlinckx. From the outset, she became interested in the context of the intervention. Her meetings and discoveries (human, geological, architectural) were recorded in notes and are the subject of audio and visual recordings, the ensemble constituting the genesis of the work.

Joëlle Tuerlinckx develops a project that evokes the entire museum structure and its function: the collection, conservation, inventory, presenting successive exhibitions. But she overturns its schemes and proposes a “museum turned inside out like a glove” based on a triangular of places.

The Cransac Triangular, “Memory Museum – Universal Property ®” consists of the Memory Monument, 34 metres high, erected on the old mine pit head, near shaft No. 1 (the monument represents one 10th of the shaft’s depth) and of two sites designated by the artist as the Memory Museum Vitrine Historique and Vitrine Contemporaine (Historic Window and Contemporary Window).

The title given to the work pays homage to Jean Jaurès: “Universal education, universal suffrage, universal property, that is, if I may say, the true postulate of the human individual.*” The artist retains the universal spirit and utopian dimension of Jaurès’ words.

*“Socialism and freedom” article published in La Revue de Paris, December 1st, 1898.

Press folder, September 2011- pdf

‘Monument-Mémoire’, ‘Vitrine Contemporaine’ et ‘Vitrine Historique’

réalisation et inauguration, le 15 octobre 2011

Patrons: Cransac Municipal Council

Financial Partners: Town of Cransac-Les-Thermes, Fondation de France New Patrons in partnership with the Minister of Culture and Communication (DGCA, DRAC Midi-Pyrénées), Région Midi-Pyrénées, Department of Aveyron, with the participation of Bassin de Decazeville-Aubin Communauté de communes, Forum des associations, Crédit agricole Nord Midi-Pyrénées, Umicore, Chaîne thermale du Soleil–Thermes de Cransac



)Photographic credits, Joëlle Tuerlinckx, Christoph Fink (except 25, 26 and 27)

Eulàlia Valldosera in Rochechinard

From 1972 to 1991, the whole village of Rochechinard performed a light show at the foot of its castle. This is the context in which the Rochechinard museum was created – a tangible testimony to the attachment of a population to its history. Named the Royans Memory Museum, its collection is made up of what the locals have given or loaned to it for 40 years. However, the Rochechinard museum is going through a difficult period like most ecomuseums. Its museology could appear outdated and the team has noted a drop in attendance. The association Les amis de la maison de la Mémoire (Friends of the Memory House) approached artist Eulàlia Valldosera to address the issue of transmission – with, in time, the loss of orality that was at the heart of the initial project ¬– establish a double relation, spatial – circulation in the museum, link to the site – and temporal, objects from the past to those of today.
The initial proposition was based on two elements: an author’s film to be projected continuously in the so-called “well” room and the transformation of the museum into a centre for the creation and production of memory. This second step was suspended for political reasons.
The film not only claims to document a project by a group of local people wishing to preserve their local heritage, but also aims to highlight a film object, a current event that reanimates our past, a way to reactivate the potential hidden under layers of forgetfulness and prejudice.
Before the Light articulates different types of registers, ranging from documentary to fiction, and shows the mechanisms the artist used to get there. That is to say, the film crew, their intrusion in the house, the actors’ preparation and their improvised encounters with objects that would be used as props. This film looks at the present at the same time as it recreates the past from stories that members of L’Association créatrice de la maison de la Mémoire (Memory House Creative Association), its guards and interpreters, tell the camera: The anecdotes that they recount during guided tours when the camera is in the audience. This film proposes the medium of film as a form of archive.

The book, Rochechinard, Memory of a House-Museum, published at the end of 2019, is presented as an extension of the commission, an artist’s vision of the transformation of the museum and the state of researchers’ questioning, professionals on the future of these places.
Patrons: Members of the board of directors of Amis de la Maison de la mémoire de Royans association, Alain Derbier, founder of the Rochechinard museum, Mireille Gepponi, Catherine Flament, Jeanne Charve, Josette Derbier, Roland Meunier
Funding: Fondation de France/ New Patrons Programme, former Pays du Royans Community of Communes

Avant la lumière

commanditaires : les membres du conseil d’administration de l’association des Amis de la Maison de la mémoire de Royans, Alain Derbier, fondateur du musée de Rochechinard, Mireille Gepponi, Catherine Flament, Jeanne Charve, Josette Derbier, Roland Meunier

soutien : Fondation de France / action Nouveaux commanditaires, ancienne Communauté de communes du Pays du Royans


crédits : Eulàlia Valldosera

Montjustin / Concorde

15 kilometres from Manosque in the Luberon, the village of Montjustin has a unique history. Lucien Jacques, a friend of Jean Giono, rediscovered the village in the aftermath of the Second World War. Montjustin was revived through the poet, who settled there, drawing artists and friends in his wake.

Today, two thirds of the 52 residences are permanent. Monjustin’s story continues to be a story of friendships. Collective life exists ­– in 2013, a communal café association was created in the old school with the prospect of a cultural programme – a brewery opened and three farms are still in operation.

In 1989, the alienation of spaces considered public was badly received. In 2014, the municipality pre-empted a piece of land in the heart of the central block which adjoins the town hall to build affordable housing and recover space situated at the top of the village, near the old church that is now a location for cultural events.

With this purchase, the municipality wishes to:

– Reflect on the realization of low and medium income housing, modular housing units, and establish mutual use of a boiler room that exists on the block.

– Revitalize the space formed by the former presbytery (property of the municipality) that is currently rented out, a private dwelling, and the church. For the patrons, the approach must be exemplary: action to safeguard the spirit of the village and its collective and friendly tradition in an environment – Le Luberon – where demand for land is high.


Patrons: Montjustin Municipality and residents’ group.

In progress:


George Trakas in Lamelouze (Gard)

Du sec à l’eau (Dry to Wet)

The village of Lamelouze, situated in the Galeizon valley north of Alès, is part of the Cévennes National Park. Many professional and cultural associations are located there, with whom the municipality keeps a close partnership.

In 2009, the commune invited the Sentiers association to carry out artistic experiments on 14 hectares of communal land, situated between the 11th century church of Sainte-Cécile and the Galeizon river. The former landowner had begun a forestry operation and created an arboretum.

On the initiative of several residents, the Sentiers association and the Lamelouze Commune asked Georges Trakas to design a practical work for this space, which offers the only public access to the river. The request is part of a desire to enhance the land and its landscape, and its quality as a common space in the geographic and social organisation of the commune so that it is “recognised” by all – Lamelouze residents as well as occasional users.

After a visit in August 2015, George Trakas wrote, “I felt the project was destined for me. The commission appealed to me and it was right, because I fell in love with the locals and their history.”

During a second stay during summer 2016, acting on his initial intuitions and observations, George Trakas proposed a path to access the Galeizon as well as a simple installation between the arboretum and the river.

A study book combining texts and drawings was published by Captures éditions. It retraces the artist’s reflection – related to his career and works – his approach guided by the human dimension of places. The selection of George Trakas’ drawings and technical data for the creation of Du sec à l’eau  (Dry to Wet) offers a pragmatic and poetic approach to the commissioned work.

Le 28 mai 2019, Du sec à l’eau a reçu le prix « Initiatives citoyennes et environnementales » par le CAUE du Gard.