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UP SKY DOWN, Guillaume GIROD

Festival of Lively Architectures in Montpellier


From 17th to 20th June 2010 the Festival des Architectures Vives offers young architects to propose, think, investigate and experiment new fields of architectural design in relation with the classic town. The courtyards of private mansion are seen with new eyes and it allows to have a global though about architecture in a urban context. It also allows the creation of an intimate relation between a contemporary architecture and a site with strong patrimonial character. Montpellier City and the Languedoc Roussillon have an architectural heritage very rich people are curious about. From this curiosity dialogue can start.
Thus, this Festival with those places open (usually they are closed) and their new views allowed by young architects is possible thanks the open-minded of the inhabitants and owners of those wonderful places. The Festival allows walking in the centre of the city and take time to discover and rediscover it. The courtyards of private houses are thus connected between them with their particular creation by architects coming from all part of the world. For this 5th edition, 170 teams composed of architects from all over the world (60% where teams from abroad : Spain, Germany, Italy, United States, Chile, Japan, Canada, Brazil, India...) have registered their submission in order to take part in the FAV. From 17th to 20th June 2010, about eleven lively architectures dreamed and conceived by architects will take place in the courtyards of private mansion in the centre of Montpellier. Each architecture is conceived for the festival and will answer the thematic set for this new edition of the Festival des Architectures Vives 2010 : «Between Shadow and Light»
For this 5th edition of Festival of Lively Architecture in Montpellier, the locations chosen are in adequation with the historic city. One of the treasure of our region is the presence in the cities downtown of numerous private mansions. Montpellier counts more than seventy private mansions and as more courtyards. This way the goal of the Festival in Montpellier is on one hand to open up to the inhabitants, during the festival these emblematic places and on the other hand – thanks to the interventions of teams who will present a specific work in each place – to reveal an intimate relationship between contemporary architecture, an installation and heritage.

The Festival offers to play with this poetic and disconcerting nuance that consists in being both inside and outside. Spaces become confused. Let us find during the festival the pleasure to go all over the city to stroll from surprise to surprise. Let us find and reveal with games of spaces, games of colours and games of matters? the qualities of these courtyards and their particularities. Let us insufflate them life, thanks to the sensory pleasure of a place, thanks to the imaginary of an inhabited city and not only by crossing it. Contemporary architecture will be revealed with ephemeral games between shadow and light and awake sleepy places. So inside or outside, let us simple look for the pleasure of space, of architecture and of the city.
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