Tourner Autour du Ried by St. André-Lang Architectes

A housing prototype in France is wrapped in a corn facade.

ALSACE – A low-budget sustainable pavilion in north-eastern France stands amongst protected corn fields, literally taking on its surroundings.

The 20-sq-m circular housing prototype provides panoramic views of the surrounding Alsatian Plains. Orientated to maximize the sun’s rays, the north-facing entrance invites the visitor in through a lowered ceiling. The tilted roof creates opportunities for light in the small space below.

The facade, despite its aesthetic body, is also a functional feature of the design (realized by St. Andre-Lang Architectes). Cobs are stored in stainless steel wire mesh with embedded cardboard circular windows to let in light depending on the sun’s position. The main wooden structure holds the cob for storage and drying, changing with the seasons. The pavilion’s appearance will change according to the cycle of corn, inspired by corn dryers in the Alsatian Plains.

A central round light shaft creates more chances for light to sink into the space. Below the shaft, a central patio grows local plant species, further extending the idea of bringing nature inside.

Despite its compact size, furniture extends around the inside perimeter of the entire house to assist the needs of daily activities, making it a functional space – inside and out.

Photos courtesy of Lucas Stoppele

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