Gue(ho)st House by
Berdaguer & Péjus


French artists Christophe Berdaguer and Marie Péjus have converted an old house in France into a visitor centre by giving it a ghostly cloak of polystyrene and paint.

Gue(ho)st House by Berdaguer & Péjus

The building, which was formerly used as a prison house, a school and a funeral home, is located in the grounds of the Synagogue de Delme contemporary art centre, a gallery inside a 19th century synagogue.

Gue(ho)st House by Berdaguer & Péjus

Blocks of polystyrene create the chunky shapes on the facade, and are covered with resin and a layer of white paint.

Gue(ho)st House by Berdaguer & Péjus

The artists imagine the building as a "ghost-house" and have named it Gue(ho)st House, in reference to the phrase invented by Marcel Duchamp "A GUEST + A HOST = A GHOST".

Gue(ho)st House by Berdaguer & Péjus

Above: photograph is by Marie Le Fort

"Duchamp’s wordplay ended up being a trigger, a base line for drawing up the project," said Berdaguer and Péjus. "Guest is the common denominator, the sharing space that we imagined. Ghost is a metaphor, a phantasmagoria."

Gue(ho)st House by Berdaguer & Péjus

The completion of the Gue(ho)st House marks the 20th anniversary of the arts centre and provides new reception spaces for visitors, as well as studios for resident artists.

Gue(ho)st House by Berdaguer & Péjus

Above: photograph is by Marie Le Fort

Other projects inspired by ghosts include a collection of laser-cut chairs and a series of mesh screens around a Tokyo house.

Photographs are by Olivier-Henri Dancy, apart from where otherwise stated.

Here's some more information from the Synagogue de Delme contemporary art centre:

The art project and the context of the commission

Christophe Berdaguer and Marie Péjus are creating a remarkable work of architecture-sculpture in the area surrounding the Synagogue de Delme contemporary art centre: by enhancing the art centre’s visibility, by creating new reception spaces for visitors and artists, this work makes it possible to use the public space for new purposes.

The heart of the project is the transformation of an existing building that was once a prison, then a school and then a funeral home. Keeping this context in mind, the artists used the memory of the place and transformed the building into a ghost house, a veritable architectural phantasmagoria, which the title echoes. Gue(ho)st House borrows Marcel Duchamp’s wordplay: a Guest + A Host = A Ghost. This served as a trigger for the project, which offers an interface between hosts (art centre, commune) and guests (visitors, artists).

Berdaguer and Péjus are covering the original house in a white veil that drips onto the surrounding area and creates a living body, a moving form that looks to the past as well as to the future. As the spatial projection of a collective psyche, the house becomes not only a place of emotions, perceptions and memories, but also a great mediation tool for the art centre.

This public commission constitutes a major milestone in the history of the Synagogue de Delme, which has always presented itself as a place where artists can work and research, open to all members of the public, in a spirit of dialogue and proximity. In 2013 the art centre will be celebrating it’s 20th year of operation and will then be able to offer everyone a very a high quality experience.

Future uses

The ground floor of the building will contain a reception centre (for groups and schoolchildren, and for the art centre’s educational events), an information office and a documentation centre. The upper floor will be transformed into a studio that will occasionally provide accommodation to artists, students, interns and other art world professionals.

  • stefan

    Gaudi is turning in his grave.

  • luca

    A kind of Gaudiesque project a century late.

  • Edgar

    When you think in your head “I’m the new Gaudi” – just don’t.

  • gitahastarika

    So the aim of this project is to make people scared?

  • benschmideg

    I like it! It’s not structured enough to be Gaudi, its texture reminds me more of Niki de Saint Phalle. And the contrast with the neighbouring building is great.

  • Dom

    Looks like Erich Mendelsohn's Einstein Tower.

  • cubert

    Gaudi or Wes Craven?

  • Curious project exercise. Singular and very personal style. In my opinion it’s more an homage of Mendelson’s work than Gaudi, but its only one option.

    Good job. Congratulations from Barcelona.

  • Lster

    Honey it’s just… ectoplasm.

  • Some very male “ectoplasmic” associations are being called forth as well… perhaps there are some – ahem – FERTILE ideas here?

  • A nanotechnology experiment gone awry.

  • The aftermath of Gozer's invocation of The Destroyer —a.k.a. the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

    Yes, I am *that* old ;)

  • unknown

    Certainly not art, and the 1980’s word games are very passé.

    • Fed Fef

      You’re boring.

  • I like it. Reminds me of Casper the friendly ghost, but I think it would work better without the extension.

  • Someone accidentally hit turbosmooth before sending it to the contractor.

    • Fed Fef

      99999999999999999 polygons

  • Enzo

    Gaudi? ALIEN!!

  • yrag

    Kind of looks like the building was utterly hosed in fire extinguisher foam.

  • Angi

    Is it edible?

  • Sean

    Not Gaudi at all. Gaudi's works infused interior and exterior together to create an interlaced building. This is merely facade work.

  • Shahad F.

    At first glance I thought this is a terrible project that looks like Casper and makes him scary rather than a friendly ghost! After reading the idea behind it maybe my thought was a bit extreme, yet I still think it’s not suited to the context of the site as we see the surrounding buildings around it: no integration of exterior and interior, looks very out of place and the organic form seems random.

  • Supercool!

  • tom

    I thought this is a terrible project that looks like Casper and makes him scary rather than a friendly ghost.