For this establishment devoted to the marketing of Limousin cattle, Jean Nouvel dispoed of an idyllic site set among rolling valleys a hillside covered in lush pasture, crowned by a dark belt of treets, with old-fashioned cowsheds housing the finest specimens of the local breed in the lower part of the site. The program was straight-forward: an administrative building, an auction rom, and a reception pavilion. Although the budget was limited, the client was determined; he knew what he wanted and how to get it.
Along with Édouard Boucher, Jean Nouvel took up the challenge of providing low-cost buildings that would be both discreet and ostentatious at the same time. Hence the use of natural wood, a red cedar that takes of a fine silvery hue with age, and the positioning of the long administrative block that cuts across the leafy landscape. The reception pavilion and adjacent restaurant wre built close by with a wooden chequerwork belvedere extension covering the auction room where the magnificient beasts on sale are paraded before the amphitheatre and podium.
Olivier Boissière in Jean Nouvel, Ed. Terrail, Paris, 2002