Jun 15, 2024–May 31, 2025


How and where will we live in the future? That has always been one of the great challenges for humanity. And now it is greater than ever because we are reaching the limits of what the earth can sustain. What will homes and habitats, communities and towns, and the infrastructure of leisure look like to coming generations?

Artists and architects have always explored the opportunities and limitations of the environment in which we live. Some have worshipped the present; they have sought to perpetuate what exists. Others have learned from the past to pursue futuristic visions. Now, artificial intelligence is adding revolutionary perspectives.

With the exhibition Les Lieux imaginaires, the Château de Lourmarin will expose visitors to many such images and ideas. It will bring together the work of diverse artists and architects. Certainly, there will be fantasy. There will also be visions inspired by practical realities, by our most pressing needs for today and tomorrow. A common characteristic: the value of looking to history while envisaging how modern materials and technologies can generate a sustainable future. In short, these are blueprints for new generations founded on a profound understanding of the past.

Few historic figures have more influence on our understanding of classical building – especially that of ancient Rome – than the Italian architect, artist and engraver Giovanni Battista Piranesi. His works form a major part of the collection of the Foundation Robert Laurent Vibert, held in the chateau. Piranesi’s precise but captivating images are the primary inspiration for two of the artists whose works will be shown extensively.

Sergei Tchoban not only jointly heads a major architectural practice in Berlin but is the founder of the Museum for Architectural Drawing in the same city. Born in St Petersburg, in 1962, he has long been fascinated by the need to combine modernity with the surviving classical structures of historic town centres. His lively paintings and drawings take us directly from Piranesi’s images to challenging concepts of a new Rome.

Laurent de Troïl, born in Paris in 1953, is a gifted artist and engraver whose elaborate, finely observed, etchings of real and imagined towns, churches and ports, are heavily inspired by Piranesi. An artist in residence at the Chateau de Lourmarin, in 1987, de Troïl also spent time at the Casa de Velazquez in Madrid, in Marseille, and at the Abbaye de La Prée, near Bourges, before establishing his engraving workshop at Lus la Croix Haute.

Bjarke Ingels Group is an architectural practice based in Copenhagen. Responsible for some of the most visionary concepts of sustainable modern delvelopment, it has designed structures around the world including: the Danish Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo, the Lego House in Billund, the new tower of Two World Trade Center in New York, the Google headquarters in London, and Telosa, a futuristic city planned for the American desert.

Manas Bhatia is an architect and digital artist from Dehradun, India. He creates innovative organic structures that mix nature, ancestral knowledge and technology. Manas has received global recognition as a pioneer in exploring the potential of artificial intelligence in architecture and design.

EXPOSITION: June 15, 2024 – May 31, 2025
VENUE: Château de Lourmarin
ADDRESS: 2 avenue Laurent Vibert, 84160 Lourmarin
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday; May – September: 10:30 AM – 6:45 PM; November – March: 10:30 AM – 12:45 PM and 2:30 AM – 5:45 PM; April + October: 10:30 AM – 1:45 PM and 2:30 AM – 5:15 PM

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