Le Haut Perché Offers Free Shelter For Hikers in the Rustic Countryside of Bordeaux

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By Jonathan Simcoe / Published by Dwell
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Studio Weave designed this hiker's shelter in collaboration with the French studio Bruit du Frigo and fabricator Zébra3, establishing a walking route through an idyllic region of Bordeaux, France, that is normally admired from a distance.

Some places achieve new grandeur when taken in from a distance. The scale and beauty of Rome or Florence achieve new life when seen from the top of St. Peter's Basilica or the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (both architectural wonders in their own rights).

In the case of Bordeaux, whose fringes remain relatively unknown to visitors, new beauty is found exploring the region on foot. Shelters like London-based Studio Weave's modern, organic structure offers refreshing new ways for travelers to take in the rustic countryside of Southern France. 

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Le Haut Perché (French for "the high perch") is situated amidst woodlands and streams, nestled gently in the heart of Le Parc des Jalles, located northwest of the city center. Part of the Refuges Périurbains project by the French arts and architecture collective Bruit du Frigo, the lofted cabin is one of 12 shelters.

A single path ends in Le Moulin du Moulinat, a former miller's house and old water mill situated along one of Bordeaux’s main water sources. Here, the hiking shelter is perched. 

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The retreat offers views in every direction, allowing visitors to take in the serene and protected surroundings of Bordeaux. Each opening of the structure is composed to frame a particular moment, some to be experienced lying down, others while standing or sitting.

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The shelter itself is composed of timber and weathered steel, each element reflecting the traditional water tower through its materiality and form. 

For visitors looking to take in France's iconic wine-growing region from a new vantage point, the arching platform captures the wild, focused sounds and vistas of water and woodland.

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