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Bilange's Ghosts

Saumur, France 2020

Rehabilitation of shop windows

work done in the agency Atome Architecture Saumur

under the direction of Patrick Fiolleau, Architect DPLG

All documents are the intellectual property of Atome Saumur.

This rehabilitation project aims to give the businesses on Place Bilange in Saumur a new storefront on the street. The stores on the ground floor are struggling to find a linear unity due to their poor condition and their unassuming relationship with the 4 high recessed facades, all of which date from different periods. 

This project is a re-interrogation of our relationship with patrimony, and the phenomenon of petrification it imposes on architectural systems. The new block that encompasses the boxes of the existing shops is striated by a series of folds in the design that at first glance appear random. In reality, these vertical lines, which punctuate this linear strip of reconstituted veneered stone, are directly taken from the multiple modenatures that adorn the facades in the background.

The secondary lines of the old façade system become the guiding axes of the new façade. Because they are patrimony, these lines lose their status of simple ornament to become part of the fossilized architectural form.

1 intented form

    → the bay

2 incidental form

    → framing

3 fossilized form

    → the facade


1 intented form

    → the folds

2 incidental form

    → the opening

3 systematized form

    → the facade


The new facade of the shops is placed on the old block like a drapery whose vertical patterns would be the folds of the fabric. To underline this structural as well as semantic detachment, the new roofing is interrupted before reaching the ground, underlining its floating aspect.

The newly created grooved wall is obviously perforated to develop the showcases. To explain this spacing of folds, a frame protrudes from the facade encompassing and emphasizing the bays without changing the design of the vertical lines.

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