The Dome Is The Ultimate Structure.

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The Dome Is The Ultimate Structure_Proposal for the 120 Hours Competition 2016

Arnaud Jouanchicot and Hélène Grosdidier_ 



Who influences you graphically?

We draw inspiration mostly from 3 schools. First the ‘collage’ one, led by artists like Joe Webb, Bryan Olson, or ill studio. It has that Superstudio feel that is helpfull to bring ideas on the table. Second, the ‘illustration’ school, influenced by Laurie Rollitt, Peter Judson or Leonie Bos. Mostly for the amazing 2D work and color work. It’s simple but the power in their drawings is intense. You can feel people and space with so little. And finally we’re interested in a more contemporary school led by artists such as Steve Smith (Globodigital) or Pilar Zeta. They work with 3D mediums and produce surealistic situations that we love ! Also we’re big fans of all kind of maps. Mapping is amazing… big fans of Atlas of places.


What is the meaning behind the veil image? What are the dystopian implications of the veil covering the building and how is this anti utopia established through a mixture of texture and use of colours?

We wanted to seal the city’s image into one memory that would be geometry. We wanted to indentify the city through its simplest morphology. So here comes the veil, it reveals the essence of the buildings, their shapes without apparats. There’s no ornaments nor architectural devices except the silhouette. The veil is white, it’s pure, so it can ‘take’ the light better, and contrast better with the surroundings. It’s also white in order to be marked better by the environnement and the climat.


What is the effect of the use of vivid colours? 

It just brings life ! We were bored by grey renders so we chose to do something colorfull, vivid, like a pop paradise. For real, we were looking for a ‘earth map’ and we ran into a geological map, wich is composed of vivid colors. The deal was sealed : the graphic direction was fitting the speech. Also the vivid colours contrasts better with the white structure.


What are the implications of featuring Adam and Eve in relation to the dome?

Featuring Adam and Eve was a quick dilemma. We had to sum up the concept of humanity into one symbol, so what else than Adam and Eve ? It also contributes to the paradise feel of the drawings.


You visually explore the dome in relation to the grid, what is the thought process behind such an approach?

The dome is the ultimate structure. And the grid is the basic structure. So here it is… No seriously we needed to mark graphically the dome and make it ‘suitable’. So first we thought about triangulation wich is the most efficient structure. But then we thought about how maps are divided into sequences, and it’s by square grids, like the geographic coordinate system. Infiné, the grid superimposes the map’s divisions and frames the landscape.


What is the relation established between dome and globe?

We see architecture as a constant effort to offset the ground, and the dome would be this ultimate effort. A symbol, an abstraction to illustrate what architecture is. So the dome underlines the globe and reveals the landscape. It’s a parallel of earth’s envelope that creates an inside paradise where space is infinite and modulation does not even exist. But it’s also a contrast between the square grid’s geometry and the smooth shapes of the landscape. Like so, it’s clear that architecture is cultural, not natural.


Architecture is an intention. It becomes when the mind is able to project, and therefore the body to take shelter. Architecture is when the form gets meaning, and so where inside begins. If we reduce architecture to one concept it would be covering. It’s the one thing it needs to become, way before composition, light and material. Cause a tree or a cave can be pictured as architectures. Architecture arise from human thinking when it’s seen as
potential. From there, Dome us brings you the ultimate roof. A dystopian abstraction to illustrate the essence of architecture. The simplest structure where the site is the program and the program the site. A paradise where space is infinite and modulation does not even exist.

Arnaud Jouanchicot_Hélène Grosdidier_1Arnaud Jouanchicot_Hélène Grosdidier_2Arnaud Jouanchicot_Hélène Grosdidier_3



Arnaud started to study architecture in Toulouse (Fr) while Hélène did her B.arch in Rouen (Fr). After 3 years studying in France they met in Hanoi (Vietnam) for their first year of master degree (erasmus exchange). They did a couple of university projects together and then started to do competitions. Back in France 2 years ago, they did 1 year interships in Paris at MARS Architectes (Arnaud) and Agence TER (Hélène). Arnaud is more confident in  architecture while Hélène is more landscape/urbanism oriented. They are now finishing their Master Thesis for July and planning to work/study in Montreal (Canada) next year.


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