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The Ideas Box
Stéphane NIKOLAS

The Ideas Box

Stéphane Nikolas as Architects


Building located in the south of France, near Montpellier (34130 Saint-Aunès)

Surface: 83m² useful

Year Built: 2020

Architecte: Stéphane NIKOLAS (287, Chemin de la Crouzette, 34130 Saint-Aunès, T : +33612438431, Mail : agence.nikolas@orange.fr)

Photos: Stéphane NIKOLAS


« The ideas box »

A simple parallelepiped in raw concrete, the architecture is expressed by a basic Pythagorean geometry, reflecting the stability of the cube and the mineral. "The box", located in a rural and green setting, is there to give birth to and emerge ideas. Artist's studio dedicated to design and graphics, discussions with the client revealed varied needs in operation and contrasted in their layout. Sometimes bathed in light, sometimes sheltered from the darkness necessary for IT work, they must respond to different configurations. The work carried out requires a judgment of shapes and colors, both in natural light but also in a more neutral environment, in order to avoid color distortion.

The spaces are therefore arranged halfway between the office and the workshop. An architecture made of raw materials and more felted arrangements, the place is a space of reflection and creation, with a strong interiority, but open at the same time on the surrounding countryside.

Composed of prefabricated concrete walls, adjusted to one another to form a "box", an expression of durability and solidity, the construction system was chosen for the sake of efficiency and speed. Carried out in the workshop, then placed in place by crane, the installation thus avoids the more energy-intensive system of poured concrete. The self-consolidating concrete keyways close and stabilize all the walls. A floor in rough pre-slabs and concrete encloses the parallelepiped.

The openings in the facades are hidden behind aluminum trellises, stamped in expanded metal, playing both a filter and solar protection role. The smooth, satin or shiny surfaces of the exterior concrete, placed on the plant background of cypress, fig and palm trees, draw an intervention that is minimal, not very talkative, returning to an original and functional language.

Southern light plays with surfaces and materials. The clarity of the concrete and the color of the openings respond to each other in a desire for contrast, enhanced by the color orange, the customer's visual imprint. The volume, present but of reduced dimensions, seeks to fit into the site, a response of the human hand to the work of nature, a complementary and balanced intervention.

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