Gymnasium in Villefranche-de-Lauragais
by Bétillon et Freyermuth Architectes

In The Default Aesthetic, Vanilla flavored beauty, artist Etienne Cliquet explains internet aesthetics as "vanilla": in total absence of elements of design, an aesthetic by default extremely attractive radiates from minimalism and simplicity.

"Vanilla" recalls the favorite flavor of the ice creams of the Americans. It is often considered the “default” ice cream taste, the one that’s usually chosen to satisfy the largest number. 

Bétillon et Freyermuth Architectes, in their project in Villefranche-de-Lauragais, France, and in their other works, pursue an “aesthetics-by-default” through architectural pragmatism.

Villefranche-de-Lauragais is a commune in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France.

We try to avoid the pitfall of meaning, full of “imagery architecture”. The interest is somewhere else: in the generosity of spaces, in the creation of a variety of spaces, in the changeable climatic or bright qualities”

They take the definition of an interface as a possible definition of their architecture.

“a layer that limits the two elements by which exchanges and interactions can take place”

The gymnasium is the constructed interface which allows the body to carry out sports activities. The building draws its aesthetics from a precise assembly of rough materials.

The programme asked for a gymnasium for high school students.

The visible technical and structural elements participate in the organisation of the space and its harmony in the same way that a visible tree diagram functions in contemporary computing interfaces.

The French practice tried to answer with the same pragmatism in the questions posed by the brief. The gymnasium is on a sloping ground, in the joint of several other equipment, a track, a parking lot and a high school.

The building is the result of a competition by invitation 

They created a big overhanging square, assuring a connection and coherence between the various infrastructures of the zone.

The proposed aesthetic and the simple but radical interpretation of the program contribute to give to this project a taste of Vanilla architecture in which the architects recognise themselves.

Authors Raphaël Bétillon & Guillaume Freyermuth
Location Villefranche-de-Lauragais, France
Surface 1900 sqm
Budget 2 360 000 €
Client Town of Villefranche-de-Lauragais
Photography Maxime-Delvaux, Salem-Mostefaoui and Bétillon et Freyermuth

Evergreen School Azatlyk Square Bang Nong Saeng Kindergarten VDC Naidi Community Hall Belvedere Schieblock and Luchtsingel Gallery Without Walls

a project powered by Itinerant Office

subscribe to our newsletter

follow us