Animal Explora – Chateauvillain (52), 2010

The operation was about using a freely accessible natural site to create a «Nature Resort» offering a range of leisure activities and stays based on immersion in nature and contact with animals. The site, adjacent to the medieval village of Chateauvillain, is a natural area of 280 hectares, enclosed by a stone wall and originally used (17th century) as a game reserve. This area has exceptional natural qualities: variety and originality of its fauna and flora, the presence of water, a marked topography, rocky outcrops, contrasting landscapes and rare tree species.

Time seems to have stood still, leaving the park in fallow, suspended between its history and its future. We are now asked to read this park, to understand it in order to fully restore its meaning.

The project foresees the creation of 3 sites:
1 – The Hamlet site features curves, a rolling aspect. It expresses a strong relationship with the EARTH.
2 – The aquatic centre site is marked by the presence of rockslides covered with moss, reminiscent of a flowing stream. It expresses a strong relationship with WATER.
3 – The mill site is a belvedere looking over the valley. Very aerial, it expresses a strong relationship with AIR.

The theme of metamorphosis is an opportunity to illustrate the gradual advance of the visitor, his or her transition from the civilised world to the wild world. The aim here is to interpret and transcribe, through images, the emotions experienced during this process of initiation, using the morphological evolution of the insect.
1 – The arrival is marked by a hesitant, unsteady gait. The advancing path twists and turns. We work our way in slowly, stumbling, exhilarated by this preparation for the great outdoors. These are the first steps. An idea of MOBILITY, relatively cursory and contained, a dislocation.
2 – The world of the Aquatic Centre inspires WITHDRAWAL, a pause for meditation. The themes of sleep, the nymph or the chrysalis, seem to correlate with the vegetative state, a state of solemn reflection and inner peace.
3 – FLIGHT: the visitor sees a flaring at the end of the road, air. He runs, spreads his wings. The proposed concept is inspired by the specific structure of each of these states (LAND & MOBILITY, WATER & WITHDRAWAL, AIR & FLIGHT) and borrows their vocabulary, their shapes and textures.


Project management competition for the design and construction of the Animal Explora zoo.




INTERSCENE – Thierry Huau- Landscape architect & Urbanist
Art’UR - Architects (mandataire)
CREATIME - Outdoor Scenographer
JF LOHOU - Inside scenographer


272 m²