Chauvet Cave – Vallon Pont d’Arc, 2009

As home to particularly well preserved cave paintings dating back more than 30,000 years, Chauvet Cave contains an exceptional testimony to prehistory. It is situated in the valley of Pont d’Arc, 40 km from Valence, and overlooks a valley through which the Ardèche river flows.

For reasons of security and conservation, a project to recreate the cave has been proposed, so as to open it up to the public. The identical recreation of this prehistoric heritage is being studied in relation to two scenarios in two possible locations: the Razal, located in the descent of the plateau of Saint-Remèze towards the Pont d’Arc valley, and Champagnac, located on the Pont Arc-Vagnas axis.

The project is based on two main themes: Anamorphosis and the Discovery Centre. Anamorphosis will constitute the real pivot of the site, extending over 3500m² and providing a compacted representation of the real Chauvet cave (8500 m²). The paths are dotted with little scenes and will immerse the visitor in life 30,000 years ago. The various suggestive scenes will propose a parallel between cave art in general and some approaches of the great painters of our time who are inspired by tribal art and in particular Australian Aboriginal art.

To limit the impact of visitors on the site, the platform connecting the different parts of the project will be raised. This elevated walk will also symbolise the observation from the present into the past, itself embodied in the dense forest rising from the ground.

Program

Concours de maitrise d’oeuvre pour la réalisation de l’espace de restitution de la Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc

Client

Syndicat mixte Espace de Restitution de la Grotte Chauvet-Pont d'Arc

Team

INTERSCENE – Thierry Huau - Landscape architect & urbanist
Cabinet CHIGERU BAM – Architects
Agence DEGASTINES – Architect

Surface

15 ha

Status

Competition