Portfolio 2019

Page 1


Nicolas Pabion

Portfolio / August 2019 Architect accredited to work on his own name


Curriculum vitae


front cover

Architecture p. 06 / 23 1_ Summer kitchen 2_ Watchtower 3_ Castle resort 4_ Tri Ă‚n monument 5_ Amorepacific headquarters


Design p. 24 / 31 1_ Leather bag 2_ Granito Lamp 3_ Spool terrazzo table 4_ Oak clothes rack

Recommendation letters

back cover

Summer kitchen

Located on the border of Vercors (Claix, France), the plot offers a breathtaking view on Comboire’s fort and Belledonne mountain chain in the background. The project takes place in the corner of the terrace surrounding the pool, on a fifty centimeters high concrete base. It consists of a solid wood structure, rectangular larch beams held together by mortise and tenon joints, and spruce three-ply panels. The framework connects it to an existing wooden pergola. ​ n one side, the summer kitchen turns its back on the adjoiO ning land. Aligned with a barbecue and a stone pizza oven, high cupboards including a refrigerator provide more intimacy to the terrace. Conversely, the perpendicular side opens up on a flowery slope overhanging a dry stone wall. The three centimeters thick reinforced concrete slab, with its satin finish, offers a three meters long work surface dedicated to cooking and includes a sink to accommodate every type of gathering.



The underroof structure consists of maritime pine plywoods resting on a multitude of small larch rafters. The repetition of this structural element gives a rhythm to the underside of the roof, turning it into an ornemental piece that one discovers when sitting around the table. Finally, the roof structure is covered by galvanized steel sheeting and the entirety of the rainwater is collected to irrigate the vegetation of the adjoining garden.

1:20 Joinery detail Two rafters assembled by half-lap, truss’ mortise receives the post’s tenon, the joint is secured by four oak dowels.




Countertop & post (concrete and lach)


As an island country, Cyprus has always had its eyes to the sea - although its rich landscape stretches all the way up to the Troodos Mountains. Since the Neolithic age, successive populations have made great use of this natural wealth, which we still find today in Cypriot culture and crafts. The project is an architecture of evocation, of the wind, the sea, but also of traditions with the secular craft of Lefkaritika laces. By creating an elevated yet accessible viewpoint framing the sea’s horizon, the viewpoint engages people with the site and gives the possibility of a new immersive sight. The viewpoint allows a symbolic scene of man facing the sea through a poetical promenade.



By bringing these natural and cultural elements into one place, the viewpoint pays tribute to Cyprus’ past but also offers a space where one could reflect and think forward to the island’s future.


Castle Resort

Originally implanted for defensive war strategies, the castle embodies today a perched platform, devoted to the contemplation of a unique utopian landscape. Time and history have willed that the present morphology of ruin naturally offers a horizontal plateau, responding to its new role as a point of observation for the context. Rather than selfishly invading this edifice like a parasite, our approach lies more in seeking to engage the entire territory and offer real added value to the site as a whole. This analysis leads us to seek fore a more noble relationship to the identity of the site, involved in the territorial problematic of the location, which offers a greater potential for global requalification than the simple intervention on the ruins. We therefore decide to develop a gesture, a Hyphen linking the existing road to the castle, a materialization and reinterpretation of the existing access path sewing history & landscape together.



This approach is motivated by the desire to offer a route seeking to capitalize the identity of the site by engaging in its relationship with the mountains, the ruins, the village, the forest. The castle, arrival point of the project, culminates on the mountain and serves as a permanent reference point revealing its various facets as the visitor progresses along the route. Our project ultimately seeks to celebrate the site, anchored in the field, as if it had always been there. The morphology of the road, sometimes thick, sometimes thin, shows the landscape and offers a multiplicity of uses enriching the quality of the place. The housing typologie aims to integrate the territorial characteristics of the site, namely a path on the height, as well as the simultaneous relation to the ruins and the landscape. Thus, each dwelling develops a split-level course, exploiting the slope situation, with the north a relation to the ruins and the south to an opening on the mountains. These different relations are translated trough space and windows geometry.





Tri Ân monument

Expressing recognition and thanksgiving, materializing human values, enhancing one’s sacrifices towards others. These emotions can’t be transcribed with matter, they are beyond what men can control and hold in their hands. However, it remains possible to suggest them, to celebrate them, to awaken the visitors’ subconscious and to lead them to a collective consciousness, to a collective memory dedicated to the people that sacrifice themselves for others. This reflexion justifies our intention to develop an introverted experience, detached from the artificial aspect of the site, to stay focused on the memorial’s fonction and its relation toward the visitors, namely remembering those who gave their lives.



One war, one history, one search for peace, one memory, the nobility and the fragility of these concepts has led us to generate a pure form, a single gesture, a curved line, natural and fragile, translating the values that it is transporting. The curvy shape is an omnipresent theme in the Park. It is furthermore allowing the monument to soflty integrate into the site. It is rooted in the slope and highlighting the transition between the two morphologies of the site, as if it had always been there. It folds, unfolds, thus suggesting this notion of infinity, like a timeless devotion to the human battle for peace. The spiral path leads through the various themes of the exhibition, intimately progressing down to reach the meditative heart of the project, enabling you to get simultaneously closer to earth and sky.


Amorepacific headquarters

The new headquarters for Amorepacific, is located in the centre of Seoul at a site which has been occupied by the company since 1956. It is situated next to a former US military zone that is being transformed into the spacious public Yongsan Park and a business district, which was part of a masterplan representing the largest high-rise development in Korea.



Focusing on a single, clear volume, the proportions of the building have been carefully developed around a central courtyard to maximise the effectiveness of natural ventilation and daylight. Three large urban openings connect this central void with the exterior surroundings, providing views over the city and the mountains in the distance and therefore establishing a sense of orientation and belonging. As ‘hanging gardens’, these openings give scale and allow nature to extend from the adjacent park into all parts of the building. By elevating the external layer of the façade, the entrance level opens up to the city and draws the public into a generous atrium. The courtyard situated above represents the communal centre of the company workplace, with the elevated gardens providing recreational space for those who use the building. A rich mixture of public amenities such as a museum, auditorium, library, restaurants and childcare facilities ensures that the building is not only an efficient headquarters but also the public face of a vital company embedded in the growing metropolis of Seoul. The façades with their diaphanous brise-soleil cladding not only facilitate the environmental performance of the building by providing shading and reducing heat load, but also give the building a coherent form. Metaphorically, the new building echoes the aspirations of a modern organisation, mediating between local and global, private and public, collective and individual, formal and informal, and in doing so establishing its dynamic identity.





Courtyard, 5th floor

Entrance hall, ground level




Office space, 8th floor

Custom shelving system, Kado by Vitra

Desig-lab, 12th floor

Granito lamp

The idea of this lamp stems from when I was employed cladding facades on constructions sites. I was fascinated by the core left by masons after drilling through concrete slabs and started collecting them. Beyond the aesthetic aspect of their terrazzo like pattern, the exposed gravel and the irregularity of the curved surface gives a glimpse of the hardness of the material. The physical reality of this common construction material thus revealed is to me, like a magician showing his tricks. I then decided to use this aesthetic on a design object. This lamp was also a small scale test of pouring and grinding concrete. Using two PVC pipes of different diameters as a mold appeared to be the simplest solution (releasing the piece from its form the mold was surprisingly tricky though). The materials I selected are all retrieved from different places; the black marble from a funeral stone factory, copper left over on constructions sites and brass from old curtain rods.



To bring light from the bottom of the object, I decided to raise the concrete cylinder on a wooden pedestal. In addition to practical benefit, this choice was also aesthetic. The wooden base brings a geometrical aspect and gives the piece a finished look. Furthermore the foot lets the two materials embrace each other which gives unity to the piece. In conclusion, this item is a decorative piece which comes to life once illuminated.

Spool terrazzo table

For years, the table in my family’s garden had been a spool top fixed on a tree stump. Sun and rain got the better of the wood while the stump’s roots were disintegrated by insects. The time for a new table had came. I had long wanted to try pouring concrete including stones that I would select. After buying the proper diamond grinding discs I started trying to cut random stones. Meanwhile I found on the internet the true master of this discipline: Felix Muhrhofer. His work, beyond its beauty, gave me an idea of what was possible.


Since the table top is so heavy, steel would be the only material passing the test of time when it comes to the footing. Also, steel would rust overtime matching the reclaimed spool border as if they had always have been part of the same entity. To contrast the round shape of the table top, I decided to go for an orthogonal frame. Also, the placing of the feet on the exterior of the table top gives the users four possibilities for placing a parasol.


After gathering a bunch of different stones available in the bed of the Drac river next to my house, I started trying to split them. I also spent a lot of time cutting down reclaimed material into pieces, mainly brass and copper. The rest of the work was aesthetic choices that I had to make since I gathered more materials than needed. The pouring was both physical (nearly 150 kilograms of materials), hectic (concrete sets fairly quickly) and stressful since it was my first time pouring such a complex mix. After several days grinding the surface of the released solid with finer grain abrasive at each time, the pattern came to life.

In the end the table top is a poetic piece of craft that carries a lot of meaning. Each individual sees what his imagination lets him perceive ; for some it is medical sections of body part, for others it is animals footprints, or even ink blots like the famous Rorschach psychological test.


Leather bag

I‘ve always been fascinated by bags, mainly because when they are well produced they are so useful for carrying more stuff than your back can manage. In fact, I own a lot of them and each has his own use whether voluminous, handy, beautiful or versatile. We all know the myth of the bottomless bag which sometimes feels true when you search your keys lost between hundreds of other items. Regarding bags, being so large can be both a quality or a default. For this reason, I like bags that are following the shape of what they are holding. In term of size, I wanted this bag to be able to carry an A3 sheet without folding it. I conceived this sack firstly as a shopping bag that’s why I went for a vertical rectangle of 35 centimeters by 42 centimeters, with gusset sides which brings the overall capacity to fourteen liters.


In my opinion, bags are often overloaded with straps that besides being useless most of the time, interfere with the esthetic of the piece. Thus I tried to find a system that would rely on one only strap to fit the two most common carrying positions of a bag; on the shoulder and on the back. The solution I found uses a safety belt, attached to the bottom of the bag and sliding into metal loops on top of the sack as the only strap. Besides the versatility of its use, the safety belts offer an incredible resistance. On top of that, it is a reclaimed material that one can freely collect in scrap yards.


The design of this leather bag is based on two intentions; simplicity (of form and material) and versatility (of use and size).Therefore I decided to focus on the straps to build the design around.

Since the Leather is also reclaimed from old sofas, I refined the design to be as low-tech as possible in order to maintain a low cost of production and increase the longevity of the item. In the end, the only value of this bag is time; time of conception and time of production.

Oak clothes rack

When I was training as a cabinet maker I became friends with the owner of a clothing shop. He wanted to renew the overall look of his boutique to make it more elegant. Therefore he showed me a couple of references of wooden clothes racks and we agreed on a refined design using oak. To this end I analysed the design of racks and broke it down to their fondamental parts; four legs and a crossbar. Te enhance the clarity of the construction, I decided to assemble them using no joint. Thus each element would keep its integrity while being a part of a system. I ended up designing inclined legs which would meet on one point and support the crossbar on another single one. The legs being inclined in two directions, neither the side elevation nor the rear elevation can describe their real length (the contour of the legs appearing on the drawings are just a projection of this solide into space). In fact this is the mainspring of carpentry traditional drawing system. With the help of the carpentry headteacher of my school, I could solve this problem and calculate the different length, angles and holes position.



In conclusion, what appears to be evident often results from a long and complex design process. In this case, the final product is an uncluttered piece of furniture which tends to highlight the clothes put on it.

1:10 Joinery detail Crossbar meeting the posts only on its lower eges and carved to let hangers slide smoothly, post’s edge tied by a screw in the middle of the contact surface (rhombus).


Nicolas Pabion

23/03/1991 (28 years old) Born in Grenoble, France Architect since 2014, ENSAG

pabionnicolas@gmail.com 0081 80 7573 6429 (Japan) 141-0022 Tokyo Shinagawa, 5-14-8 Higashigotanda


JAPAN _ 141-0022 Tokyo Shinagawa, 5-14-8 Higashigotanda