Wandering Kiosk

By now, I’ve spent almost two thirds of my life away from the place where I was born. But when it comes to architecture, I’m still a patriot.

Vichy, the small, green and relaxed French town where I hail from, is not just the most livable place on earth, with its huge landscaped parks hugged by an artificial lake, it is also one of the most handsome. Outside its small and picturesque medieval core, it is a perfectly preserved jewel of 19th century spa architecture. It is playful and eclectic–it has Flemish palaces, neo-Gothic mansions, Venetian Palazzos, Moorish fortresses, Alpine chalets, and a spectacular Art Nouveau opera house. But it is also coherent as a whole, partly because most of it was built around the same time.

So I was understandably proud when the excellent people at the Vichy tourism office reached out to me this winter after seeing an Instagram post I’d made showing bits of a structure they knew well displaced to a strangely foreign environment.

The building is one of Vichy’s many concert kiosks, where bands play al fresco during the summer months to entertain residents and tourists at apéritif time. It is both modern–made of modular cast-iron elements assembled together like Lego–and quaint, with its repeated motif of stylized waterfalls that play on the town’s famed medicinal springs.

It turned out the kiosk, one of Vichy’s largest and most elegant, had been intended for a different location but was later moved to its current home in a quiet corner of the lakeside Bourrins park.

This sparked the idea of a series of images featuring the building in a number of decidedly non-Vichy locations–hot desert, grassy highlands, lush forest, icebergs–which the city would publish in the glossy architecture magazine it publishes once a year.

The magazine’s publication this week marks the end of a fun three-month project and a bit of a different take on my old obsession about historic landmarks and CG (I have a separate but related obsession with unbuilt architecture, on which more very soon).

As should be obvious by now if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, these are full-CG scenes.

You can see a digital version of the magazine as well as past issues here, and the tourism office will even mail you a hard copy if you leave your details. Below are the rest of the images, including some unpublished ones. Hope you enjoy and, as always, I’m grateful for your feedback or any thoughts about turn-of-the-century architecture, European spas, and music kiosks.

Wandering Kiosk
Wandering Kiosk
Wandering Kiosk
Wandering Kiosk
Wandering Kiosk
Wandering Kiosk
Wandering Kiosk
    • Edis Kujovic
    • May 8, 2019

    I really like the concept behind the images. Architecture reminds me on some of the work from Otto Wagner. Not related to the post, do you still plan on puting out short, making of videos, from the “Classical” project? Thank you, awesome work as always and cheers.

  1. Hey @Edis. Thanks for that. And yes, I have a few more videos I need to edit and upload, but they pretty much all revolve around modeling, which I know isn’t what most people are really interested in (it seems shading, lighting and post-production are more in demand)

  2. GREAT…………………………

    • Pero
    • May 8, 2019

    Well, this looks sick, nothing less than I expected. I’m still searching for a detail to say “oh gotcha! this is not a photo!”. I always admired your sense for photography and level of details in all aspects of 3d viz. I can almost feel the time and effort you put in your work and it really inspires me every time I stumble across your projects. You are really pure jewel of 3d viz! I wonder if you have any intensions to write a book with all the skills and techniques you use to create this wonderful imagery?

  3. Thanks guys.

    @Pero, that’s very kind. No plan to write a book quite yet. What’s been tickling me is animation, but sadly it’s an area where I have almost everything to learn.

  4. Like always very impressive! The landscapes are just … wow 🙂

  5. Superbe ! Bien le bonjour de chez nous !

  6. @CHRISTOPHER Merci! Et salutations! Bourges et Vichy c’est quasiment le même combat!

  7. About unbuilt architecture, in your Corona Loft, there is a couple of sketches that look like unbuilt works by Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. It would be great to see you develop them in depth. I’m looking forward to seeing your next post!

  8. Well, David… You’re pretty close. These are by Etienne-Louis Boullée and this is a very interesting thought…

    • Leonx92
    • May 12, 2019

    Bonjour ici. Comme toujours, travail très impressionnant Bertrand !!! Bonne continuation dans ce que tu fais.

  9. Hi, just amazing, especially like the hillside shot, how many variations of grass did you end up using to get such a nice feel?

  10. Thanks much @Adrian. Not that many. What really makes the difference and creates an illusion of variation is the color map under it that drives the tint of the grass clumps.

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