“An ode to vertigo.”

By Jessica Plautz
March 02, 2017
Credit: © Christophe Benichou Architecture

Anyone prone to vertigo won't be too fond of this concept for a mountain in the south of France.

The “Tip-Box” is “a cube in a delicate balance on the verge of tipping over into the void, a minimalist structure, impressive and intriguing,” according to architect Christophe Benichou.

Benichou designed the concept—a tilted cube perched high atop Pic Saint-Loup—for a friend's birthday.

Credit: © Christophe Benichou Architecture
Credit: © Christophe Benichou Architecture

“It is as much a space for rest and contemplation for hikers as a tribute to the powerful beauty of this area,” said Benichou. “Its mind-blowing verticality is also a praise to the void and an ode to vertigo.” (The angles seem not unlike those used in tourist attractions like Santa Cruz's “Mystery Spot,” where local lore claims disturbances in the ground but it's really the architecture that gives visitors a sense of being off-balance.)

Pic Saint-Loup, near Montpellier, France, is not an especially high peak, however the shape and features of the mountain are striking. From the top, the views extend from the Cévennes to the Grands Causses to the Mediterranean.

Although the idea is a concept and not reality, we can see the appeal—and there are other structures similar to the Tip-Box atop peaks in other locations in Europe.

Credit: © Christophe Benichou Architecture