Montpellier’s summer Festival des Architectures Vives is a fun annual event that sees various architectural installations from emerging designers tucked into various courtyards around the city. This year’s exhibitions are all unique, but one funky hut made of 2,500 plastic bricks brings some vibrant color to the event. Created by Atelier Micromega, La Madeleine is a large cube structure that invites adults and kids alike to explore its LEGO-inspired fun.
The yearly event is aimed at fostering the relationship between historic urban environments and contemporary architecture. Every year, various teams of young architects and designers install their unique installations in the city’s many courtyards. The 2017 edition is showcasing ten emerging design firms whose work was designed to reflect this year’s theme of “emotion.”
Atelier Micromega, whose team includes five young architects, installed La Madeleine in hopes of bringing visitors back to their childhood. Thousands of colorful plastic bricks were used to create the hut, complete with an open-air skylight in the ceiling. Some of the bricks on the interior are interchangeable so visitors can modify the bricks to change the hut’s interior during their visit.
According to the team, their design was inspired by nostalgia, “The installation rests on architecture, space and matter to play with our nostalgia. It invites the visitor to be moved by traveling through it, interacting with it, echoing his childhood memories. The smooth, perfect cube refers to adulthood. The world that it contains: evolutionary, creative and malleable appeals to the child, making the space of the cave his cabin.”
After the event, all of the plastic bricks will be donated to several child-care facilities around Montpellier as well as the national charity organization, Les Restos du Coeur.
Photography via Paul Kozlowski