Signal Ethique pavilion by Arnaud Huart
sits atop a French mountain

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This slatted wooden structure by French designer Arnaud Huart provides a beacon and landmark for visitors to the mountainous landscape of central France (+ slideshow).

Signal Ethique pavilion by Arnaud Huart
Photograph by Céline Lamouche

Arnaud Huart of Studio Ae3 created the Signal Ethique pavilion for the top of the Puy de Dôme geological mass in France's Sancy region.



The shape is based on local landmarks around the mountainous area, combining references from chapel and castle towers.

Signal Ethique pavilion by Arnaud Huart

Horizontal oriented strand board (OSB) sheets separated by timber beams create a stack of layers, echoing the geological strata created by the volcanic activity that formed the surrounding landscape.

Signal Ethique pavilion by Arnaud Huart

"By its vertical shape, this small architecture looks like a lighthouse with its wide entrance and perforated attic," said Huart.

Signal Ethique pavilion by Arnaud Huart

Visitors climb three steps and enter through an OSB box, which protrudes at an angle from one side, into the small space.

Signal Ethique pavilion by Arnaud Huart

Internal walls taper up to a diamond-shaped skylight, covered by a Makrolon polycarbonate sheet to shelter occupants from the weather.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart

A small seat is built into the walls, so visitors can sit and look up at the sky through the twisted space.

"The interior of the work is intended to be conducive for a moment of rest, contemplation or meditation," Huart said.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart
Photograph by Céline Lamouche

An upper section of the structure's walls is perforated – similar to an Arabic Mashrabiya screen – to allow more natural light to filter inside that varies during the day.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart

At night, lights mounted onto the walls inside illuminate the tower through the latticework to turn it into a beacon that can be seen from far away.

The lighting also suggests that the pavilion is inhabited, like a watchtower or a lighthouse.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart
Photograph by Christian Bascle

"This visual and luminous marker in the landscape wishes to bring the message away, calling curiosity by the unexpected, the unforeseen," said Huart.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart
Photograph by Christian Bascle

The individual sections that form the 4.7-metre-high tower were cut in Huart's studio and transported to the location by truck.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart
Photograph by Christian Bascle

The structure was assembled on site over three days, in time for the Horizons Sancy 2014 art and nature festival – an annual event that includes installations across the region, which remain in place throughout the summer.

A series of steel triangles were placed in a waterfall to interrupt the cascade by artist Laurent Gongora for the 2012 edition.

Signal Ethique by Arnaud Huart

Photographs are by the designer, unless otherwise stated.

  • DL

    Didn’t we get rid of all these after the war?

    • http://www.libertydisciple.com/ The Liberty Disciple

      That’s another interesting parallel.

      Leaving a light on is often a message to others that someone is present. For a lone hiker, finding this is like being welcomed. Curiously, how is this powered?

      I’ve always enjoyed temporary structures found in the landscape. There is a childhood sense of excitement that comes with finding something left by others without a note as to why they built it, or what it does. We could all use a little innocence and curiosity in our lives.

      • Studio Ae3

        Hi! For your curiosity, the intern lighting is provide by four solar spotlights. Each one of these are linked to a small solar sensor. When the sunshine stops to hit the sensors, spotlights turn on. After a sunny day, the lighting can work for 8 hours. Thanks for your vote and your comment.
        Arnaud.

        • http://www.libertydisciple.com/ The Liberty Disciple

          I’m a trained architect working in the film industry. I’m currently building treehouses for a living. At some point, not far down the road, little guerrilla structures will begin to appear in the wild without explanation. I love these little projects that step outside infrastructure and exist on their own.
          – Michael