The Festival des Architectures Vives (FAV) aims at raising public awareness on the wide range of architecture. It seeks not only to highlight the work of a young generation of architects, landscape architects and urban planners but also to discover unexpected urban areas.

Through two urban tours, one in the historical heart of Montpellier’s town and a second in La Grande Motte, the public can discover works of contemporary architecture in unique sites, sometimes unknown from people. In Montpellier, courtyards of private hostels, usually closed to the public, open their doors during the festival. In La Grande Motte, the festival offers an urban course in the heart of Jean Balladur’s architecture, which caracterises this seaside town, recently approved “Heritage of the XXth Century”.

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Many works allow interaction with visitors. Leaving no physical trace, the festival seeks to make an impression, to initiate a global reflection on architecture and its development in existing urban context and finally, to create a dialogue between contemporary works and heritage.

One of this works has been created by a creative duo from France. Mickael Martins Afonso and Caroline Escaffre Faure have installed a series of floating clouds inside one of Montpellier’s hidden courtyards. Isolated from the city’s noises, visitors are likes pauses in this urban walk. Some chairs and benches are placed in the courtyard. Visitors enter, clouds seems to float in the air, above their heads, creating a daydreaming ambiance. Composed by balloons, they are suspended by a thread. Sitting on a chair, it is possible to bring a cloud around the head to isolate ourselves, alone or with others, and take time to think, to exchange a secret, as an alibi, a way to take some rest. 

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all images by Paul Kozlowski © photoarchitecture.com

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