RSHP cantilevers the 'richard rogers drawing gallery' above the grounds of château la coste

Feb 15, 2021

rogers stirk harbour + partners (RSHP) has completed the final project that richard rogers began before his retirement from practice in june 2020. château la coste is a 500-acre vineyard and destination for art and architecture that features work by ai weiwei and renzo piano. set amid the trees of the château’s vineyard in the south of france, the site’s latest addition is a 120 square meter (1,292 square foot) gallery space designed by RSHP that cantilevers off a hillside overlooking the ancient ruin of la quille and the luberon national park.

in 2011, richard rogers was invited to choose a place in the landscape of château la coste to design a new gallery building. remotely positioned on the edge of a slope, the selected site required a bespoke design and fabrication method. treading lightly on the landscape, the completed building — called the ‘richard rogers drawing gallery’ — cantilevers out 27 meters (89 feet) to a point 18 meters (59 feet) above the terrain below.

the building has been clad in a naturally finished satin steel, softly mirroring the surrounding landscape, while the external orange steel beams taper as the construction floats outwards into mid-air. conceived as a sculpture within the landscape, the cantilevering structure is accessed via a lightweight bridge that leads inside the gallery’s single rectangular room. here, a 5×4 meter (16×13 ft) opening frames the surrounding landscape, while an outdoor terrace fully immerses visitors in nature.

‘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,’ says stephen spence, RSHP associate partner and project lead. ‘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.’

‘the physics of the building, cantilevering as it is in combination with the region’s seismic activity, requires bridge type engineering and construction techniques,’ explains RSHP. ‘the building and its materials needed to be flexible. the cables at the entrance that ground the structure contract and expand, sensitive even to the local climate’s fluctuating temperatures. the poured resin gallery floor flexes in harmony with the structure.’ see other projects at château la coste on designboom here.

image © stéphane aboudaram | we are content(s)

site plan image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

plan image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

section image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

elevation image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

concept drawing by stephen spence / RSHP image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

concept drawing illustrating the path and the gallery by stephen spence / RSHP image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

concept drawing illustrating the interior of the gallery by stephen spence / RSHP image © rogers stirk harbour + partners

project info:

name: richard rogers drawing gallery location: chàteau la coste, le puy-sainte-réparade, france completion: november 2020 gross internal floor area: 120 sqm / 1,292 sqf

architect: rogers stirk harbour + partners (RSHP) local architect: demaria architecture client: chàteau la coste/paddy mc killen structural engineer: lang engineering consultancy project manager: rainey + best steel works: bysteel building enclosure: setanta construction specialist engineering: hasson engineering solutions bureau d’études structures: ATES internal fit out: SCEA château la coste, IDME france, ACM france