Fictions as Practice

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The Maïdo road, from the sea to the peak of the 2,200m-high Mafate mountain passes an extraordinary sequence of terraces of tropical vegetation: from open dry grassland at 100m, sugar cane fields at 300m,  bamboo ravines at 500m, forests of Eucalyptus, cryptomeria plantations, fallow fields of acacia mimosas at 1,000m, geraniums and reeds at 1,200m, tamarind woods at 1,500m, and broom at its peak. The road provides a way in which to view the land, yet at the same time is the agent of its destruction. Halfway up Mafate, at 1,200m, lies a clearing. The building is this empty space intensified – an enclosure open to the sky, bordered by cryptomerias, acacia mimosas, the edge of the clearing and a ravine.

_The clearing’s edge 

The exhibition spaces and public places are developed randomly around the trees, with the clearing’s edge bordering them at one side. A large reflecting clear plastic wall indicates the building. The cryptomeria trunks perforate the construction, so as not to interrupt the clearing’s vegetation.

_The ravine

The artists’ residences and studios are constructed on stilts, embedded into the trees, their facades of plastic shutters reflecting the tops of the acacias.

_The garden

The entrance to the Ti-Jean Garden (landscaped by Gilles Clément) at 1,500m is accompanied by micro-facilities on a ravine (cash dispenser, services), as the extension of the layout of the Villa Malraux.




La Petite France, 1996, Reunion Island
Architect: R&Sie(n)… Paris
(name of the agency at this time : Roche, DSV & Sie)
Creative team and associates partner : François Roche, Stephanie Lavaux, Gilles Desévédavy
Key dimensions: 1,900 m2
Client : Frac (Local Art Center) of Reunion Island
Cost : 4M$


Design of an artist residence on the road of Maido, the Villa Medicis of the Indian Ocean: exhibition space, 10 artist’s studios, an open space for outdoor exhibition (3 hectares).


1) Locating the limits of the glade.

2) Geometrical distortion through geographical contractions... to avoid to touch the situation

3) Introduction of a secret mirror building set within the forest edges .

4) Exhibition room in an open sky apparatus, foggy or clear depending of the day time (tropical micro-climate situation) / Art Pieces are in panoptical or ghost mode according to.