César Giron


“The Fondation d’entreprise Martell celebrates its first year, but its existence goes back further. In 1929 the Gâtebourse tower wasbuilt, a new bottling plant for the House of Martell in the heart of the city, in a unique architectural style in Cognac. This building was disused since 2005 for the benefit of a new factory and in 2013, the decision was made to restore its value, opening it to the city of which it has become a symbol. Three years later, the tower unveiled its new vocation: it would house mainly the Fondation d’entreprise Martell, a cultural, artistic and multidisciplinary venue for contemporary creations, acting for the transmission of knowledge and experience.

Expressed in October 2016 by Vincent Lamouroux through Par nature, an installation realized with local companies, this ambition finds its most manifest formulation in June 2017 in the courtyard with the Pavillon Martell de SelgasCano, an ephemeral and
international architecture, welcoming for a year some regional craft works. At the same time, Martell is pursuing the reconquest of the building where, thanks to the remarkable work of the construction companies, the lobby and the exhibition space of the Foundation on the ground floor were inaugurated in June 2018. The interactive installation L’ombre de la vapeur by Adrien M & Claire B and the ceiling light Shine a Light by Nathalie Talec are now visible in there.

The Maison Martell is proud to bring to the Charente department, to the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and to the world a tool for creation and exhibition close to its values, making Cognac a new cultural destination.”

Nathalie Viot


“The challenge we set for ourselves in 2016 was clear and ambitious: to imagine, build and animate a cultural venue that would aim to meet every sort of contemporary creations. To create discussions between crafts and technology, immersion and intangibility, knowing and making is our only guiding princple.

After a year and a half of research and exhibitions, and even before the Foundation complete opening, the process takes form(s): sand, plants, wood, lime, light, onduline, steel, fabric, wicker, ceramic, glass, brass, concrete, shadow, pixels, projectors, sound … are all materials that our guest artists have revisited. From various disciplines, artists or craftsmen and craftswomen, often both at once, they were able to draw inspiration out from the place and its environment to challenge the carte blanche that I offered.

This first step also allowed us to create formats of meetings. From artistic and institutional partnerships, to special moments with our day and night visitors, we have already built strong territorial and creative connections around us.

The time of prolongation has come: here in Cognac, we will gradually invest some of the spaces of this large building with its immense heritage and emotional value; elsewhere, throughout the world, we will spread our ideas hoping that they will thrive, grow and come back.”