Built earth - Interpretation Center Creux du Van

ETH Zürich, 5th semester, Prof. J. L. Mateo 

2nd place IS ARCH Awards

2nd place Opengap competition


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The Creux du Van is a natural rocky cirque, an amphitheatre-shaped natural attraction of the area. Besides the form, the exposure of the stone layers is the main characteristic of the site and a cause for its formation. By spreading the rooms into different layers, the visitor can spatially experience these layers to get a completly new view and understanding of the site. The project steps back visually towards its surrounding, to be no visual competition and to increase the visitor‘s curiosity. The entrance is a tunnel that appears merely as a cut in the surrounding. Once entered, one can feel the mountain with various senses in a sequence through the building. Every room occupies the height of a different layer and creates different situations with variations of the structurally needed pillars. These pillars influence the visitor‘s experience of his journey from raw to smooth, from rock to concrete and from outside to inside, transforming the mountain‘s heavy- and roughness to a monumental exhibition room.