The city of Gargas (“mountain” in Provençal) is located in southern France and is home to the site of Bruoux where the architecture firm DeSo and Christine Dalnoky’s architectural and landscaping project was built. Development of ochre mines into an organized tour including an open air amphitheater for art festivals.
▼场地鸟瞰，aerial view ©Hervé Abbadie
The site is predominantly made up of a natural mineral: ochre, pure clay (kaolinite) combined with ferric rock (iron hydroxide) and used as a coloring pigment since prehistory. The rock makes this region a unique “Provençal Colorado” recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It also has a biotope area for rare plants. It is an unusual location whose unique brightness is due to the colors of the rocks – yellow (goethite), brown (limonite) and red (hematite) – as well as the esthetic power generated by the work of 19th century miners. Looking further back in history, an ancestral past is unearthed, including prehistoric ochre murals.
▼露天剧场，amphitheater ©Hervé Abbadie
▼矿场拥有多腔的特征，the mine is a multi-cavity (galleries) imprint in nature ©Hervé Abbadie
The bedrock of the architectural and landscaping project delivered in January 2009 was built on a plot of land steeped in and shaped by the different historic eras. The making, shaping and image of the location were not dictated by any intention. It traces back to a mining past and the requirements of exploitation as well as the region’s complex and rich geography and climate. This raw, wild and perennial look was painstakingly preserved by the combined intentions of the architect and landscapist as a tribute to the Past and Nature.
▼场地平面图，site plan ©DE-SO
STAGING NATURE AND VEGETATION
Choosing the right way to stage the site in its natural landscape is one of the important features behind the project’s success, whose focus was the relationship between the natural site and mining. The mine is a multi-cavity (galleries) imprint in nature. The cliff was hollowed out in the 19th century for international exploitation. As the construction proceeded, it was essential to respect the natural topography of the site as well as its ecosystem. The landscaping work that was performed leveraged the existing resources of the ochre landscape. The distinctive characteristic of the ground is that it is a barren and sandy ground unfavorable to lush nature. In order to enable the forest ecosystem to regenerate and shade certain strategic spots of the walking tour, it was necessary to move a few trees and plant new ones.
▼景观方面的介入也尽可能地利用了赭石矿场的既有资源，the landscaping work that was performed leveraged the existing resources of the ochre landscape ©Hervé Abbadie
▼建筑入口，entrance to the building ©Hervé Abbadie
WOOD AS NATURAL MATERIAL AND FILTERING SKIN OF THE BUILDING
▼建筑平面图，building floor plan ©DE-SO
The reception building was designed as a covered courtyard. It houses under a wooden mesh with a single covered gallery: the front desk, ticket booth, shop, restrooms and the cafeteria which has a terrace giving a panoramic view of the ochre cliffs. Also, the bar has a storeroom for preparing hot drinks after visiting the mines where temperatures are quite low.
▼木制栅格围合出一个连续的带顶长廊，the reception building designed as a courtyard under a wooden mesh with a single covered gallery ©Hervé Abbadie
▼长廊容纳了前台、售票处、商店、洗手间和餐厅等设施，the gallery: the front desk, ticket booth, shop, restrooms and the cafeteria ©Hervé Abbadie
The wooden courtyard, through the transparency of its filter wall (wooden and glass interior façades), opens out onto the clearing located at the end of the walking tour and the shade garden protecting against the warming sunrise and the south. The soffit of the building is nail-down flooring, without suspended ceiling and visible from the road.
▼拱腹采用木条装订的楼板，the soffit of the building is nail-down flooring ©Hervé Abbadie
▼长廊细部，detailed view ©Hervé Abbadie
AN ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY BUILDING
An ochre light-colored concrete retaining wall built on the hillside makes up an “amenity-based” layer comprising the exterior patios. Those patios give a natural indirect light inside the building. The building has a vegetated roof to:
-achieve a harmonious match and integration of the construction in the natural environment.
-obtain superior thermal inertia of the overall system by providing a climatic amenity area.
-ventilate the building simply and manually (the restrooms are water-tight but not air-tight and do not require maintenance and use).
-use waste water from the vegetated roof and return the runoffs to the site.
▼建筑与自然环境呈现融合的关系，the construction shows a harmonious match and integration of the natural environment ©Hervé Abbadie
▼建筑外观细节，exterior detailed view ©Hervé Abbadie
▼长廊夜景，corridor night view ©Hervé Abbadie
▼建筑外观夜景，exterior view by night ©Hervé Abbadie
Project name: Mines de Bruoux
Company name: DE-SO
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project location: Gargas Vaucluse South of France
Building area (m²): 350 m²
Photo credits: Hervé Abbadie