Le Porte-Vue thus offers a panoramic view of the Pont Caffino outdoor activity centre located 30 metres below, and the vineyards of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre.
The site of this lookout point is located in the town of Château-Thébaud, behind the city hall, in the heart of the wine-growing muscadet region of Sèvre-et-Maine. It towers above the Maine River – a tributary of the Sèvre Nantaise that joins the Loire in Nantes. On one side, overlooking the granite cliffs of Château-Thébaud, and the sharp bluffs of Maisdon-sur-Sèvre on the other, this part of the Maine Valley resembles an actual small-size canyon.
For Emmanuel Ritz, a specialist in mountain belvederes, “designing a lookout is as much about highlighting the beauty of the landscape as seen from the headland as it is about showing the headland itself.” The work thus fulfills a dual desire: to reveal the spirit of the place, and to offer visitors an audacious architectural structure.
This arrow-like construction stretches out towards the granite cliffs across from it, allowing for a pristine view. Halfway along the deck, visitors can take shelter in a small covered area with a bench. Further down, the deck has been freed up to offer a dizzying 360° view of the surroundings. Ritz’s goal is to domesticate this void and make it accessible to all, while the outward stretch of the cantilevered deck showcases both the landscape and its observers.
© Valéry Joncheray