Art Center La Cuisine
Nègrepelisse (France), not realized
During the feudal period, in France, owning an oven was one of the granted rights - also called “banal rights” - of every landlord. One of them, which was portrayed in the XVIII century by French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard in one of his drawings, stood in a house of the village of Nègrepelisse, in the south of France. Inspired by the painting of Fragonard, the project conceived by Vadrot (not realised) foresaw the construction of an oven on the main square of the same town. With its rammed earth vault, similar to that seen in a nearby village, the Four Banal aimed at creating a new gathering place for the local community, while encouraging the revival of an ancestral construction technique of undisputed cultural value. The semicircular concave shape of the structure, made of layered bricks, would have recalled the solid circular towers of Nègrepelisse’s castle, whereas its precise geometry would have guaranteed an optimal use of the materials, avoiding to cut the bricks at the corners, and at the same time imparting strength to the whole.
Photos : Olivier Vadrot