VISIT BOISBUCHET 2020
JULY 6th – SEPT 20th
The Chateau de Boisbuchet
Built on the site of two previous structures from past centuries, the current Chateau at Boisbuchet presents itself on a hill overlooking the Vienne river as a typical 19th century manor. The historicist building, is composed of five interlocking volumes of varying shape and size. After having been ravaged by squatters and standing vacant for years, it is now in the process of being carefully restored, starting with a comprehensive repair of the roof in 1991 by Vilnius Technical University. Supported by governmental funding, two stories have been renovated to house temporary exhibitions.
Constructed around 1860, it originally served as the administrative building for all the farms associated with the Domaine with stables, laundry, granary etc. Today it contains guest rooms, sleeping quarters, offices, internet and conference rooms as well as some galleries.
The Japanese Guesthouse
Once part of a large estate in the Shimane prefecture in Western Japan, the traditional guesthouse (Kyakuden) was constructed in 1863 – the same period as the Chateau at Boisbuchet. Offered as a gift by the Japanese Kominka Research Society, it was dismantled, documented and restored in its original location in 2008, then brought to the Charente, where it was faithfully rebuilt by a team of Japanese craftsmen. Assembled without nails or screws, the wood and clay structure encompasses two large rooms and an L-shaped corridor, which are divided from one another by shojis.
The Paper Pavilion
With this pavilion, Shigeru Ban, winner of the Pritzker Prize 2014, realized his first permanent building in Europe. He utilized wooden connections and tubes made of recycled paper similar to the Japanese pavilion he had created a year earlier for Expo 2000. Erected atop a concrete base on the central axis of an old fruit garden, the structure was later enclosed with aluminum and glass facades to allow year- round use. The original covering of corrugated fibre glass sheets was replaced with a translucent tarpaulin.
This fully energy-autonomous, solar-powered house has been developed by students from Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, both in the USA, and the University of Applied Science of Erfurt, Germany, for the 2014 Solar Decathlon competition in Versailles, France. Afterwards it was moved to Boisbuchet. The Techstyle-Haus was designed to use only as much energy as a blow dryer to keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This prototype building has its own intelligence. To analyze regularly the atmosphere and energy consumption, all metrics behind the architecture are constantly collected.
The former mill of Boisbuchet can be traced back to the 17th century, which makes it the oldest surviving structure at the Domaine. In 1993, large sections of the already damaged building were completely destroyed during a flood, including the roof which had been constructed over an elaborate oak truss in the 19th century to mimic the style of the chateau. Having made a detailed inventory and documentation prior to the flood, the Kiev Polytechnic Institute was able to completely restore the structure just a year later. With a canal running through its foundations, the building now contains the reception for the Domaine and a public bistro.
For an exhibition tour in China presenting German industry’s current technologies for sustainable urban development, the German artist and architect Markus Heinsdorff developed a series of bamboo pavilions in 2007, with this building as the centrepiece. As a gift of the Goethe Institute and the People’s Republic of China, the pavilion was transferred to Boisbuchet upon conclusion of the tour. For the support structure, Heinsdorff used tubes and plywood made of bamboo helt together with special steel fittings. Membranes made of polycarbonate serve as the roof and wall surfaces.
The Bamboo House and the Bamboo Conference Pavilion
Columbian architect Simón Vélez built the house together with students on his second visit to Boisbuchet in 1999. For this two-storey guest house he employed a new technique: Vélez filled the hollow chambers at the pole’s junctions with concrete and inserted metal rods as connectors. In 2000, Vélez repeated his innovative use of concrete and metal connections in an adjacent conference space for 40 people.
The Bamboo Pavilion
For this pavilion created in 2001, Colombian Architect Simón Veléz utilized bamboo from his native country, as the thin poles of European varieties could not withstand the construction method developed by Vélez. The roof with its supports bundled in four pad foundations (with plastic bottles as the moulds for the end pieces) recalls the wings of old airplanes and lends a floating element to the building, which functions as a shelter from sun and rain.
The Bamboo and the Fibreglass Dome
The small bamboo-dome structure (top) from 2006 by the engineer and architect Jörg Schlaich, who developed the Olympic Stadium decades earlier in Munich with Frei Otto, pays homage to the lightweight design of tensile structures and to bamboo as a material. The 30% larger variant of the dome was built in 2009 and consists of fiberglass rods connected with specially manufactured aluminum sleeves and spanned with a tear-resistant, weatherproof and translucent membrane.
The Green House
Created in 2017, in a workshop directed by French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh, Boisbuchet’s greenhouse sits in the central axis of the Domaine’s historical kitchen garden. The form is minimal yet complex and functional: It is a roof with one side smaller and lower that ducks out of the Atlantic winds from the west while collecting rain water in the close-by reservoir. The stabilizing truss inside accommodates shelves for pots and provides opportunities to suspend crops for drying