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A Architecture Portfolio_2015 ClĂŠment Ringot

Architecture Portfolio_2015 ClĂŠment Ringot


Preface This architecture portfolio seeks to convey the construction of a vision around three projects made during the last years of my education. They were chosen as they illustrates the architectural conception in different context, be it natural (The House of the Bay), urban (Urban Wastelands), or something inbetween (Corsica Triptych). The studio Dess(e)ins, lead by Olivier Bourez, proposes to work on larger scales, in addition to the usual ones : the city, the landscape, the territory... Students are invited to consider the issues in which a building can participate above its own constitution, so that an architectural discourse in adequation with urbanistic preoccupation can see the light of day. Reciprocally, the architectural conception can only grow richer from the study of these scales. For this reason, all projects are site-free, and one of them (Urban Wastelands, lead by Christian Rapp) is programm-free, as to generate the fullest understanding of the territory structure, as well as social and economical needs, and to implement them in the project conception. With a variety of media at different scales, the portfolio tries to illustrate both this understanding of the territory, as well as my own fascination with history, picturesque atmosphere and the image of architecture. This fascination will lead to the subject of my thesis, Monumental Images : About monument representation in the contemporary city, which will be described in the last chapter.


Preface 01_Corsica Triptych : The restructuration of a village around its territory Programme and Strategy Photographic Investigation The construction of an idea Project description

02_Urban Wastelands Programme and Strategy Project description

03_The house of the bay Programme and Strategy Project description

04_ [monu]Mental Images : About monument representation in the contemporary city



8 10 12 22 32 50 52 54 70 72 74


01_Corsica Triptych : The restructuration of a village around its territory GalĂŠria, North Corsica * This project was laureate of the 2015 Project Prize, and nominated at the 2015 Van Hove Prize.


Corsica Triptych_Programme and strategy


Programme and strategy

For the diploma project, the studio Dess(e)ins proposed to work, amongst other things, on the problematic of housing in the village of GalĂŠria, North Corsica. GalĂŠria illustrates the complex situation of a banal village in an extraordinary landscape. A banal village, whose fabric seems weak and incoherent, more so since the recent waves of urbanization. The transposition of the occidental four-sides villa in such territory have made unfixable damages, from level works and road constructions to the inevitable weakening of the social link. As an alternative to this urbanization, the project seeks to understand and work with the structure of the territory as well as the social needs of both the inhabitants and the tourists. The analysis highlights a major piece of territory in the village, some derelict kitchen garden, enclosed by private construction and endangered by speculation. The gardens are structured along a small stream, and runs from the center of the village to the beach. The project is firstly an infrastructure. By building the edge of the gardens, it brings water evenly from top to bottom. From this intervention, the gardens can revive as a collective piece for the village. As the underground infrastructure alternates aqueducts and cistern, the ground floor receives a set of paths and plazza, connecting the center to the beach. Along this infrastructure, housing units can be set, units that will be connected to the territory.


Corsica Triptych_Photographic Investigation

Photographic Investigation


Topography (1) It is not possible to grow something out of a sloping terrain. Not because of practicability issues, but rather because of the rain running down the slope and carrying everything away. It is therefore of primary need to structure the territory with retaing walls, slowing down rainwater, and making it infiltrate the soil, in addition to give a plane surface to work with.


Corsica Triptych_Photographic Investigation

Topography (2) As they are built in the topography, a lot of buildings feature upper and lower entrances. Sometimes, to make up with the difference of ground level, stairs are needed. The stairs become a complex place, above the private/public opposition. It is a place between the house and the street, between the inhabitant and its neighbours.



Corsica Triptych_Photographic Investigation

Topography (3) In some places, the topography, structured by retaining walls, gives hierarchy to the spaces, from public to private. Here is an exemple of this structure : a private garden overhangs a semi-public path, itself overhanging the collective gardens.



Corsica Triptych_Photographic Investigation

Materials Stone, from raw material to the implementation. Materials from the natural surroundings are directly involved in the construction. Architecture and landscape are therefore connected.



Corsica Triptych_Photographic Investigation

Colours Vivid colours on houses contrast with the raw stone and lime plaster, and speak about appropriation and identity.the inhabitant expresses his singularity through these details, in a place where pragmatism often wins over aesthetics.



Corsica Triptych_The construction of an idea

The construction of an idea

Colonnisation The attraction for Corsica’s coastside leads to a violent urbanization of the territory. The further we go from the center, the more the plots are enormous, the density weak, and the infrastructures to access them exagerated. A high consumtion of territory is implemented, when places in the center could use some densification.



Corsica Triptych_The construction of an idea

Water as a structural element When we take a look at constructions in the mountains, it appears that it is intimately connected to water . Streams are structural lines, around which building and cultures are organized. Historical maps of GalĂŠria talk about this relationship to water. The Quartieru, primary implantation of the village is situated way above sea level, on the edge of the Ambiu, a small stream which will then irrigate the cultures. A relationship is set between the inhabitants and their lands.



Corsica Triptych_The construction of an idea

The gardens as a collective piece The valley digged by the Ambiu still form to this day a vegetalized socket, receiving the kitchen gardens and some unused green space. If it is formed by private plot, their borderless agglomeration give a collective value to the valley. The valley can be seen as a possible link between the center and the sea



Corsica Triptych_The construction of an idea


A set of walls (1) Building the edges of the gardens is a way of preserving them from speculation. The project can be summarized as a set of walls.A first wall, the water wall, defines the border of the gardens. It starts from the stream above the gardens, and bring water horizontaly on their sides, so that they can be irrigated envenly. Then, another set of retaining walls is built to receive housing units. They are built in accordance to the existing plots, leaving small paths between them. The walls are bent when facing the gardens, and become socles for the housing units. Between those two walls is the public space, connecting the center to the sea.

Corsica Triptych_The construction of an idea

A set of walls (2) Walls for culture, walls for irrigation, walls for habitation. Layer by layer, a hierarchy is set up. Once the walls are built, they can receive different morphologies, as long as some rules are followed, be it a set of private houses around a collective garden, or some collective housing. As a rule, we’ll try to leave some porosity between the public space and the interior gardens. Scanned by CamScanner




Corsica Triptych_Project description

Project description







Infrastructure as a pattern for urbanization (1) Here are the different steps for the urbanization of the gardens. It is important to understand that the project doesn’t need to be in its finished form to work. It can be completed over time, fragment by fragment, each fragment consisting at least of one cistern and one aqueduc.

1. The infrastructure is built on the edges, alternately an aqueduc and a cistern. 2. Retaining walls are built around the plots, giving a socle for urbanization. Paths are left between them, to give access from the road to the gardens. 3. A first row of urbanization is set along the gardens. 4. A second row of urbanization works perpendiculary to the first one, giving consistence to the paths. Interiorities are connected. 0

5. Institutions are built on the public ground.

III - L’infrastructure comme levier d’urbanisation




Corsica Triptych_Project description

Infrastructure as a pattern for urbanization (2) A possible plan for the urbanization of the gardens in its fullest form. As the morphology of the housing units is free to evolve, there is an infinite possibility of plans, this one being one of them.




The control of water To maintain a constant flow of water, the aqueduc is divided by cistern, as seen on the schemes. It allows to benefit from the topography, as the cistern get filled from the top, and unfilled from the bottom. Are alternately inplemented an aqueduc and a cistern, a line and a surface, a path and a square. The aqueduc is in its simplest form : a gutter along the wall, a wall where precast concrete slabs are inserted to let the water run down toward the garden.


Corsica Triptych_Project description

A new public space along the gardens (1) The first step of the urbanization is located around the small chapel. A cistern is implemented in front of the chapel, forming a square on its surface. The socle formed by the added retaining walls are digged to receive public equipments.



Corsica Triptych_Project description


A new public space along the gardens (2) As the paths go down toward the gardens, the socles formed by retaining walls are appearing. Those socles are digged around the public square to receive public fonctions.


Corsica Triptych_Project description


A courtyard open on the territory (1) The housing units are organized around a large courtyard open on the territory, above the public ground. From here we acces to the housing. The units that aren’t facing the gardens have a view on the sea.


Corsica Triptych_Project description


A courtyard open on the territory (2)


Corsica Triptych_Project description


The tecnical stripe as a social interface (1) As all the rooms are overlooking the gardens, the tecnical facilities are facing the courtyard. By adding the entrances, the terraces, access to the kitchen and such, the typical tecnical stripe become way mor: it is a social interface between the inhabitant and their neighbours.


Corsica Triptych_Project description


The tecnical stripe as a social interface (2)

02_Urban Wastelands Ghent, Belgium * This project was part of a one-semester seminary lead by Christian Rapp


Urban Wastelands_Programme and strategy


Programme and strategy For the traditionnal Master seminary, invited professor Christian Rapp proposed us to work on urban wastelands in the city of Ghent. As Ghent used to be a great industrial power during the 19th an 20th century, it is today, with the end of this economy, dotted with derelict factories and empty sites all over the city. Those in the inner center are easily refurbished, whereas some in the periphery lack any form of interest. The project will be site and programme free, and will start with a group analysis of the city over different themes : morpho-logy, infrastructures, public and private buildings, etc. The result, a 300 pages booklet was to be in everybody’s hands, as to start with the fullest understanding of the city. The project start with the observation that Ghent has a specific way of creating public spaces. The city’s structure grew in relation to the tortuous canals of Lys and Escaut, and the great operations of the 18th and 19th centuries had not much influence on the form of the fabric. No big avenue, but a sinuous fabric, in which a set of voids is introduced, poonctuated by objects. Those monuments don’t dominate, but rather develop a complex relation with their surrounding, a mis-en-scène of their status and their position. The whole city is dotted with these theatricalized objects, whose role is to annunce, structure and give significance to public spaces. If the former peripheral industrial area is to be refurbished with functions identical to those of the center, then there’s a need for voids to be set up, structuring the loose and incoherent fabric, and allowing for spaces of sociabilisation. The desindustrialisation, and with it the deprivatisation of huge industrial block lead to the apparition of voids. I think it is of primary need to think about a structure of voids in the industrial area. allowing for a hierarchy of spaces to set up. A way to structure those voids would be to caracterized them, with an object. Just like in the center, a theatricalized object could give structure and significance to the derelict spaces. I chose to work on the former ACEC factory, as it could become an imortant place in the renaissance of the urban wastelands.


Urban Wastelands_Project description

Project description

About voids and monument As the city expanded in relation to the tortuous canals of Lys and Escaut, the structure of the voids is equally sinuous. Monuments help structuring and annuncing those spaces of sociabilisation, as well as giving them significance. The large voids left after desindustrialisation will follow the same pattern, to implement them in the continuity of Ghent’s public spaces.



Urban Wastelands_Project description

A city of tower (1) The question of representation in Ghent’s public buildings is intrigating, especially in the case of tower buildings. We find in the city a lot of these beacon, symbol for their epoch, representation of a vision. Of course, as in other european cities, religious buildings were implemented, with a sole function of represenation, which were for a long time the only landmarks in the city. It becomes more interesting when looking at younger exemples. Buildings whose designs are often dictated by their function adopt a strong representation. For instance, the universitary library located in the Van de Velde tower : the practicity of storing books in a tower might be questionnable, but the architect was answering to question of representation above those of function. Same observation for the SPE : what could be the purpose of that chimney, if not to demonstrate the power of the industry.



Urban Wastelands_Project description

A city of tower (2) A city of tower and water. Behind an horizontal set up along the canals, are erected the towers. The building is implemented inside the former ACEC block, and works as a landmark for these refurbished spaces.



Urban Wastelands_Project description

An urban continuity (1) The first operation will be to divide the huge industrial block into smaller ones, allowing for a public space to run through it. The tower will then help structuring this void.



Urban Wastelands_Project description


An urban continuity (2)


Urban Wastelands_Project description


About representation (1) Finding the right representation is a process of lot of trials and errors. The project is hesitating between an industrial roughness and a more urban facade to bring significance to those dereclict spaces. The right equilibrium is to be find.


Urban Wastelands_Project description

About representation (2)



Urban Wastelands_Project description

About representation (3)


03_The house of the bay Somme, France


The house of the bay_Programme and strategy


Programme and strategy

For the landscape programm, the studio Dess(e)ins proposed us to work on the contemporary programm of a landscape laboratory, in the incredible region of Baie de Somme, France. The programm is complex and quite large for an area where so few is built. The landscape is indeed caracterized by emptiness and silence, surrounded by a magical light. The project starts from the realization that behind this breathtaking atmosphere is a great amount of work : Most of the bay is land gained on the see, and it’s a continuous struggle to protect them. With the increase of the see level, this struggle seems to be destined to a failure. The project proposes an alternative to this perpetual struggle : the depolderisation, as some exemple in England and the Netherlands have proven successful. Letting the water enter the lands behind the dike not only gives a smooth border without risk of breaking, but allow for a new economy, in harmony with the milieu to be instaured. The economical saves made from the maintenance of the dike and other infrastuctures is to be reversed in this new economy. A new landscape, between land and sea is to appear, in which the project will be implemented, as a landmark of the found harmony. As it has to resist water and rude weather, the building is compact and heavy. Openings on the outsides are left to the minimum, and the building compensate with a huge patio, where the rooms take their light from. As the complex programme needed to be packed in this compact form, an interior complexity of voids is implemeted, giving to the buil-ding its qualities of light and spaces, in the image of a rock digged by wildlife.


The house of the bay_Project description

Project description

A manmade landscape (1) The bay’s landscape is divided between a solid limestone ground and some watery land gained over sea, lands whose protection is a perpetual struggle.



The house of the bay_Project description


A manmade landscape (2) When separating the layers composing this landscape, the polder and the infrastructure to keep them protected are highlighted. It is becomes clear how artificial the landscape is.


The house of the bay_Project description

Toward a smooth frontier By letting the water enter behind the dikes, a new landscape, between land and sea is created. From this landscape, a new economy is implemented. The old struggle for the land is over, this landscape unify the two elements of land and water in harmony.



The house of the bay_Project description

The house of the bay as a symbol of depolderisation The compact object is set in the depolderized lands, as a symbol of this new landscape. Depending on the tides, it is either on dry ground or surrounded by water.



The house of the bay_Project description

Top floor

3rd floor

4th floor

Ground floor

1st floor


5th floor

Protection (1)

2nd floor

As it need to be protected from both water and and rude weather, the project is compact and massive. The programme is digged in the mass, allowing for a complex spatiality reminiscent of ancient fort.


The house of the bay_Project description

Protection (2) The different fonctions are digged in the mass, from huge garage and atelier to restaurant, galleries and offices.



The house of the bay_Project description

Protection (3) Finding the relation between the voids is a work of trials and errors. Plaster models help in finding the right balance between mass and void.



The house of the bay_Project description


Atmosphere While the project is seen as a robust mass able to resist water and weather, interiors are refined, with wooden floors and plastered walls, highlighting the qualities of light.

04_ [monu]Mental Images : About monument representation in the contemporary city Thesis work


[monu]Mental Images_Introduction



Monument is at crisis.

If for the past years, the architecture critique has given some light to the notion of banality, understood as a resistance against the drifting of some contemporary studio, its opposite, the monumentality, was left over. Yet, lots of questions, driven by the fast evolution of society, destabilize the concept of monument itself. As Giedion, Léger and Sert explains in their manifest Nine Points on Monumentality, the monument is, foremost, a symbol, an image created by men to eternize events or ideals from an epoch. Yet today, the growth of the complexity of phenomenons and the ideological crisis make the transposal of ideals or events considered as emblematic of collective values quite difficult. The concept itself of values, understood as a universal truth is largely criticized. Aren’t we in the case Giedion, Sert and Léger were talking about in the third point of their manifest? That is an epoch where the fragmentation of collectivity make the monument impossible? « 3.Every Bygone period which shaped a real cultural life had the power and the capacity to create this symbols.Monuments are, therefore, only possible in periods in which a unifying consciousness ans unifying culture exists. Periods which exist for the moment have been unable to create lasting monuments.»


[monu]Mental Images_Introduction


Bruno Marchand, in a conference at EPFL in 1999, raises other problematic in the crisis of monumentality. He raises first that the exercises of power tend to recede from the tradition of monument, that is of the representational aspect of power. He hightlights the problematic of the omnipresence of medias, the virtualisation of society, and the literal transposition of this phenomenon into architectural forms : architecture tends to lean toward more and more ephemeral template, going agaibst the nature of monuments, that is to express the lasting quality of our institutions. He then raises the paradox that monument is undergoing in relation to the notion of patrimony, a paradox already raised by Regis Debray in his essay Traces, formes, ou messages, saying that our society saves more monuments than creates ones. Finally, it appears that the excess of particularism of contemporary architecture overshadows the exceptionnal dimension of monuments. Thomas Cole’s «Architect’s Dream» isn’t insidiously becoming the nightmare of our cities? Facing these problematics, some raise the theory that the society being fragmented as it is, the space of the city need to undergo the same fate : they stand for a vision of the city where the monument is absent, as it couldn’t be able to be representative of the whole society. Other architects embrace an attitude of resistance against this phenomenon of fragmentation of the city, saying that the monument still has a role to play in its spatial constitution, and that it is, a contrario, the form of the city which will influence the form of society. Making the monument would be creating a social cohesion. The London Studio Caruso St John are part of them. In their first public project, the New Art Gallery, Walsall, they take a bet that the monumental caracteristic of the building will benefit both the structure of the city as well as the social

cohesion of the inhabitants. If we do consider that the monument is still relevant today, both in the spatial construction of the city as well as the social one, then other questions come to mind, especially the problematic of representation. Once again, there are two visions. Some raise the idea that agaist the heterogeneity of the contemporary city, the monument must be simple and quiet, as to unifying those features. For instance, that is the case of the National Library in Paris, by Dominique Perrault Architecture, where the architect works with symetry, but in a neutral language. We are witnessing an inversion of values, where the exceptional is becoming simple, the banal being overly complex. But isn’t it contradictory to the concept of monument, that is an architeture carrying a message? The other vision persevere in the traditional way, and see the monuments as talking object, even singing sometimes, as Paul Valery said. How is it possible to conjugue this traditionnnal vision of the monument as an architecture of message with the collective crisis that our society is undergoing? What are saying those talking object? This thesis will try to bring light to this question through two exemples : The New Art Gallery, Walsall by Caruso St John, and the Portugal Pavilion by Alvaro Siza. We’ll se that in the first case, the monumentality of the building comes from a represenation of its urban location, whereas in the second case, the monumentality comes essentially from emotional feelings. In both case, the argument will be supported by other architecture, and major texts from the past century.

Clément Ringot _Architecture Portfolio_2015  

Architecture Portfolio

Clément Ringot _Architecture Portfolio_2015  

Architecture Portfolio