2019 Festival des Architectures Vives (FAV) - Beauty

Association CHAMPS LIBRE,

©photoarchitecture ©FestivaldesArchitecturesVives,

Montpellier, France,

Urban Architecture,


The Festival des Architectures Vives has been setting alight Montpellier, France every summer since 2006. For the 14th time, this event has invited visitors to step into the city’s massive architectural heritage because many usually inaccessible private palazzos and courtyards open their doors to the public during FAV.

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2019 Festival des Architectures Vives (FAV) - Beauty Summertime is festival time and beyond a shadow of a doubt the Festival des Architectures Vives (FAV), organised through the CHAMPS LIBRE association by two architects - Elodie Nourrigat and Jacques Brion - based in Montpellier, France is one of the most interesting architecture festivals both because it showcases attractive installations and it seeks to educate the general public by revealing new urban areas.
Every work crafted by a team of architects, landscape designers and urban planners highlights the work of a young generation that submits, invents, experiments and explores new fields in designing our environment. The festival gives them an opportunity to present their own creation through an installation mounted in the centre of the prestigious, extraordinary backdrop of the courtyards of private homes in the historical centre. Each and every one of these - and this year they number 16 - sparks a conversation between the historical architecture and the contemporary installations. 
Visitors can even interact with many of these works. With leaving a physical trace of its presence, the festival aims to provide an experience, to kindle a global reflection on architecture and its development in an existing urban context and, lastly, to create a connection between contemporary works and cultural heritage
Each site also offers mediators - students at the School of Architecture of Montpellier - who are there to help visitors appreciate the works even more. The event is free, reflecting the desire of the organisers to open up architecture to as many people as possible. And, if the numbers are anything to go by, they certainly achieved that goal at this year’s FAV, whose theme was Beauty: an amazing 19,000 visitors participated in the five-day festival in early June.
A number of prizes were awarded to the installations, like every year. The jury award went to Transformé by Coralie Casanova and Thibaud Bronchart. A pile of sand, a giant pearl and the courtyard of a building, classified as a historic monument: these are the three elements that make up the installation. A contemplative and radical installation, which questions the connection between the raw material and the intervention of the architect. It references Beauty as the result of a creative process, in this case architecture, but also as a dormant power present in the material itself, which only needs to be revealed. 
The public award is for Papillon D’Or by Cristina Nan, Dirce Medina Patatuchi, Carlos Bausa Martinez. Papillon D’Or - the golden butterfly - is a sculptural parametric installation inspired by a butterfly’s suspended movement in the air. Interpreting the theme of beauty, the installation focuses on an abstraction of the butterfly - a symbol of freedom, ephemerality, beauty - and aspects of lightness, colour and the use of light.  The juxtaposition of a modern, computational design with the historic courtyard site generates a tension, transforming and redefining the space also by engaging visitors through the use of light and shadow. 
There were two special mentions. One for Notre nid by Maxence Grangeot, a playful, participative installation that constantly changes because visitors are invited to build a nest using 50,000 clothes pegs. The other special mention was for Showcase by Lopez Rodriguez Enrique e Berriozabal Armesto Inigo. This was another exploration of the concept of beauty whose origins lie in nature itself. 

Christiane Bürklein

Festival des Architectures Vives 2019 - http://festivaldesarchitecturesvives.com/
June 2019
Montpellier, France
Images: ©photoarchitecture ©FestivaldesArchitecturesVives
Full list of participants:
- Pavilion 2019: THE BIG WAV(ST)E de WASTE IS MORE: Cyril Rheims & Mathieu Collos de Montpellier, France
- Invited University: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with the installation: Manifold / Corps et Cadre  New York City, USA
– Program "Éducation Artistique et Culturelle": Rectorat-ENSAM-FAV 
12 students from Montpellier's School of Architecture, ENSAM,  and 4 primary schools: Jean Moulin, Jeanne d'Arc, Léo Malet, Saint-Exupéry from the Montpellier's Academy
- Transformé - Coralie Casanova et Thibaud Bronchart Paris, France - Jury Award FAV 2019
- Le Papillon d'Or - Cristina Nan, Dirce Medina Patatuchi, Carlos Bausa Martinez Edinburg / London, UK - Public Award FAV 2019
- Notre nid - Maxence Grangeon Thonon-les-bains, France - Special Mention FAV 2019
- Showcase - Lopez Rodriguez Enrique, Berriozabal Armesto Inigo Madrid, Spain / Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Special Mention FAV 2019
- Sel sur cours - Obione Paris, France / Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Beauté Locale - Muro Atelier Lisbonne, Portugal
- NOfish - Metrotope : Julien Plessis Montrouge, France 
- Arborescence Digitale - Pulpas Studio Murcia, Spain 
- Cour d'eau et de fleurs - Kuma & Elsa Paris, France
- Everybody is beautiful Thrace Design Studio Richmond, USA 

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