RSHP, in collaboration with Château La Coste, recently unveiled the Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery, the final piece by the esteemed architect Richard Rogers before his retirement in June 2020. Located within Château La Coste’s vineyard, an area of 500 acres recognized for its exquisite natural beauty and as a global destination for art and architecture, this drawing gallery offers an immersive experience blending innovation with natural surroundings.
The Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery Technical Information
- Architects1-8: RSHP
- Location: Château La Coste, France
- Topics: Art Gallery
- Area: 120 m2
- Completion Year: 2020
- Photographs: © James Reeve, © Stéphane ABOUDARAM | WE ARE CONTENT(S)
Architecture is a social act and the material theater of human activity.– Richard Rogers9
The Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery Photographs
A Sculpture within the Landscape
The Drawing Gallery, perched amidst the vineyard’s tranquil landscape, is a unique 120 square-meter space that dramatically cantilevers off a hillside above an ancient Roman track, framing the historic ruin of La Quille and the breathtaking expanse of the Luberon National Park. The gallery, elegantly nestled among trees, is a fitting addition to Château La Coste’s Architectural & Art Walk, joining a pantheon of structures designed by legendary architects like Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, and Jean Nouvel.
Back in 2011, Rogers was invited to select a location within the landscape that resonated with him personally and was granted the liberty to conceive a gallery that would blend harmoniously into the selected setting. The chosen site, remote and unique, necessitated a design tailored to its specific characteristics. Ensuring minimal ecological impact, the structure cantilevers 27 meters outward to a point 18 meters above the verdant site. Clad in naturally finished satin steel, the lightweight gallery mirrors the enchanting landscape that surrounds it.
The external orange steel beams tapering as the structure seamlessly floats into mid-air capture the eyes. Its interaction with the ground is nuanced, only hinting at the formidable engineering that lies beneath. Its aesthetic, while industrial in nature, is softened by meticulously handcrafted details, establishing the building as a sculpture within the landscape.
The gallery is a beautifully handcrafted piece of architecture that soars out dramatically into the canopy of the trees to ‘capture the view’ of the mountains of the Luberon. In contrast to the neutral gallery space, the legibility of the external structure is enhanced by its bold orange color, specifically chosen both to compliment, but also contrast with the surrounding seasonal landscape.– Stephen Spence, RSHP associate partner and project lead
Transitioning from the solidity of the ancient Roman track, visitors traverse a lightweight bridge leading to the gallery. The experience of walking through the support structure evokes a sensation of near weightlessness. The gallery’s single rectangular room frames the landscape through a 5×4 meter opening, further extending onto a terrace. Here, the eaves subtly jut out, creating a serene interplay of light and shade between the indoors and outdoors.
The structure’s physics, given its impressive cantilever and the region’s seismic activity, necessitated bridge-like engineering and construction techniques, mandating flexibility in materials used. Cables at the entrance contract and expand with fluctuating temperatures while the poured resin gallery floor flexes harmoniously with the structure’s movement.
I have enjoyed the numerous discussions with Richard, Stephen, and his colleagues over the years and I want to thank Richard and everyone involved for creating this magnificent pavilion and our visitors will enjoy its beauty forever.– Paddy McKillen, the client and owner of Château La Coste
The Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery stands as a tribute to Rogers’ legacy, embodying his enduring commitment to innovative, sustainable design and respect for the environment.
The Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery Plans
The Richard Rogers’ Drawing Gallery Photographs
About Richard Rogers
Richard Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside (1933-2021), was a renowned British-Italian architect noted for his modernist and functionalist designs. He was best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyd’s Building and Millennium Dome both in London, the Senedd in Cardiff, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg. A proponent of energy-efficient architecture and urban environments that are more livable and accessible, Rogers has left an indelible mark on contemporary architecture. He was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1985 and the Pritzker Prize, often considered architecture’s highest honor, in 2007.
Notes & Additional Credits
- Local Architect: Demaria Architecture
- Client: Chàteau La Coste/Paddy Mc Killen
- Structural Engineer: Lang Engineering Consultancy
- Project Manager: Rainey + Best
- Steel Works: By steel
- Construction: Setanta Construction
- Engineering Solutions: Hasson Engineering Solution
- Local Engineer: ATES
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