Team of architecture students: Dominik Fill, Christian Mörtl, Matthias Klapper, Julian Lietzmann, Marie Schamböck, Raphaela Schiefersteiner

Instructors: Valle Medina and Benjamin Reynolds, Prof. Vera Bühlmann.

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We are proud to exhibit our project in the exhibition at Chambord castle from May 25 - September 19 2019.

CHAIR of the Competition: Dominique Perrault

MEMBERS of the Chair: Jean d´Haussonville, Yannick Mercoyrol, Philippe Villeneuve, Juan Fernández Andrino, Roland Schaer, Georges Rousse


The proposal takes a look into the abundance of calendars, we observe their particularities and configurations, their methods of measuring and relating to time and their diverse durabilities, utilization periods and variable ways of referring to luminaries.


Investigated thoroughly, we choose three calendars to construct and shape a New Chambord Calendar.

Chambord firstly borrows the consistency of the “Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar” as it has fixed amount of 364 days per year and serves us as an ideal basis to further build our calendar. 


 Split into four equal parts, the new Chambord year has four seasons that another two calendars inhabit.

 Chambord's very own four seasons will work alternately according to two different calendars' characteristics: spring and autumn operate according to the “French Revolutionary Calendar” providing (each and every day during) these seasons with special names which therefore equip them with atmospheric peculiarities. The seasons of winter and summer on the other hand work according to the “Egyptian Lunar Calendar” exposing the castle to a winter season full of fog and floods and a summer season equipped with very intense solar activity and therefore exceptional radiance.


The calendar we used as a basic grid--“Henk-Henry Permanent Calendar”--allocates exactly 91 days to each of the four seasons our “New Chambord Calendar” holds. Therefore the rhythm of days and the order of hours during Chambord's different seasons are manipulated: the amount of days per year remains the same, but the differing calendars fit their exuberant days into the attributed 91 days per season.

The two calendars responsible for Chambord's seasons hold two diverse concentrations of days: 120 days per season when made up by the “Egyptian Lunar Calendar” (winter and summer) and 218.4 days during seasons made up by the “French Revolutionary Calendar” (spring and autumn). Compressing their vast amount of days into the given length of seasons, days borrowed from the Egyptian are 18 hours long, and days taken from the French Revolutionary are 10 hours long.

So the remodelling of the amount of hours per day reveals an interesting transformation of a day at the castle: a day at Chambord offers more dawns than anywhere else.

A Chambord day in spring & autumn therefore offers 3 dawns and 2 dawns during summer & winter.

The “French Revolutionary Calendar” responsible for Chambord's spring and autumn, offers another special property we are adopting: The special days named Sansculottidesare redistributed around the new Chambord year. These festive days condition (and erase) particular rooms at the castle, inimitably naming and dating them. According to their novel position in the “New Chambord Calendar” year, the Sansculottide days equip their corresponding rooms with atmospheric information and equivalent specific light conditions.

Feeding from its reoriented sunpath and the increased dawning, the castle and its surrounding land is newly revealed by the Sun, that is to say “rendered”, the Sun casts the form of the castle, reissuing it from its original orthographic characterisation to promise the contact of light on the inside in corners never-before lit and exposed. It promises new relations of radiation, spectrality, and geometry. The possibility of concentrating the traces of diffracted light to achieve an intense concentration, as if, out of the walls of the castle of Chambord, there appears a play of substance-turned radiation that we seek to cast, and materialize projectively. 

The immersion of the building in the Sun allows the perception of diverse scales of the architecture, its visage, its etiquettes, its constitutions (ie. the very stone it was constructed with from the Loire region, proportion, masonry spans, ceremonies etc.). Chambord acquires, projectively, a multi-scalar understanding of itself. For the declaration and detailing of ample views at Chambord, we have transported our work to the subtle world of cornices, spires, latrines, inscriptions, groins, edges etc., since scale can be understood in many ways: terms of metrics, regularities and irregularities, pulsations, rhythms, material resolution. All aspects harvested will be considered as holding secrets which rendered under new light i.e. through rationalized mystery will expand its notions, never losing their veil in code. It is by the means of sensing the impossibility of exhaustive capture that we propose to meet afresh with ever renewed material and spatial exposures and formations as a boundless Utopia – as a way to address Chambord’s identity whose title – whose sovereign proficiency – is nutrisco et extinguo.

 As Chambords sun rises more often, it touches shadowy corners, leaving them enlightened, displaying a new axis and play of behaviour amongst the skyline of chimneys. It acquires a conscience proper to the light pervading it, and forms new arrangements of axes, of building, escalating the unfinished.