Cantercel means “sing the earth and space” ou “sing the earth and sky”

Linking uses and poetry

A vocation of hospitality is anchored in history and situation of this traditional place of halt for floks.
The site, a threshold between the plateau and the plain, offers a panorama over the ‘Golf du Lion’ under a celestial vault free of light pollution.
Its ambiance résonne  in the imagination of the planet akin to that of the ‘Petit Prince de St Exupéry  who ask for a sheep desin. Today living places are designed for a society in transition.
Flocks came to a halt at the foot of Plo, the hill of Cantercel, where a source is found : the source du Goutal.
Its vocation of hospitality is anchored in history and its ambiance in the mythical imagination of the planet akin to that of the ‘Petit Prince de St Exupéry’

 Linking tradition and innovation

Cantercel is at the heart of 3 large heritage sites that are found within a radius of 20km : Lac du Salagou / Cirque de Mourèze, St Guilhem le Désert / Gorges de l’Hérault and Cirque de Navacelles. Between the Pont du Diable and the Viaduc de Millau, the site is also on the edge of THE CAUSSES AND THE CEVENNES, classed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2013 as a living landscape fashioned by Man.
Architecture in Cantercel fashions the landscape and constitute a patrimony for tomorrow.

Linking living space and resting place

Easily accessible from the A75, with three motorway exits within a 15-20km radius, whether one comes from Paris, Toulouse or Lyon, the site is also 1hr. from Montpellier.
The quality of life and the cultural dynamism of Herault encourage attendance of Cantercell where all inhabitant are host and guest of the place.
Of this urban pole is an attraction that its hinterland can benefit from.


To conceive living space

We do not live in walls but in the space between and beyond them. It is this sense of infiniteness that we need between our walls.
What communication can we establish with the environment beyond cultural and conventional norms?  How can we create quality of life and ambiance? What is our capacity to feel, to be ‘there’? To feel oneself to be ‘on holiday’ in daily life, give taste to foodstuffs, give poetry to a text, return to give pleasure and infiniteness to things. To give space to construction means to value the well-being of comfort.  Before forms, space is everywhere, empty…filled by our perception and our emotions, it contains all we have lived, our habits.

To build the environment

Reciprocal integration of living places, their needs and their techniques have given birth to the traditional architecture of the past and will give birth to those of tomorrow. Transitory space values interior/exterior relationships, communication between beings and breathing.  What remains is the need to embark on the adventure of a Man/Place dialogue.

Transmit an experience

To acquire knowledge can we make an economy of experience ? How can we make sense of the act of building without experiencing the union of material, Man and nature ? Each experience a priori changes us and our habits, promoting our understanding in terms of material, time and effort. It awakens a personal sensibility.  It is a moment of discovery, opening or confirmation that gives birth to an interest, a motivation stimulating a creative act. The experience contains the force of the lived.
Cantercel offers a conceptual experience and a global act of construction : of nature, architecture and their use : an experiment of materials, techniques and facilities.


The Sens Espace Workshop

In 1970 Jean Pierre Campredon discovered the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright  during the creation of the ‘Sens et Espace’ workshop unit run by Hervé Baley, teacher at the l’Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.
His pedagogy infused many architects efforts in different countries. Around 400 theses grasped the occasion to deepen research on the perception of place, ambiance and the influence of spatial organisation over mankind and the environment.
In 1990, upon the closure of the atelier, creation of the association Sens Espace Europe, in order to continue the educational activities and to associate them with constructive practice within the framework of a site dedicated to architectural experimentation. In this way an international group of architects, engineers and artists participated in the emergence of the Cantercel project.

Project Creation

From 1985 to 1988 : search for a site responding to the criteria of landscape, space and ambiances, in addition to physical criteria : area, geography, accessibility

  • March 1988 : discovery and exploration of the site baptised Cantercel
  • 1989 : first contact with the commune of La Vacquerie.
  • 1989-1993 : the association describes its experimental site project, presents it to organisations and engages in contact with European universities.
  • 1993-1994 : the POS (Land Usage Plan) was revised. The SCI Cantercel acquired 30ha of developable land for the association project. Utilities were granted to the land thanks to European Social Funding, implying the State, the Région Languedoc Roussillon, the Département de l’Hérault and La Communauté de Communes Lodévois Larzac.

Operational Phase : first buildings, first internships

  • 1994-1996 : the first buildings
  • 1997 : official opening of the site that welcomed the first university groups (Canada, South Korea and Italy)
  • 2000-2004 : first accommodation structures
  • 2004-2009 : investment in activities: workshops, summer workcamps, ecological construction, visits and publications

Development Phase :
2010-2020 : reformulation of the project in environmental, economic and social terms, construction of the gite l’Oreillette, search for partners


  • All
  • Architecte
  • Artisan
  • Bénévoles
  • Enseignant
  • Espace vert
  • Formateur
  • Membres d'honneur

Jean-Pierre Campredon

DESA architect, urban planner, founder of the site and of the architecture workshop. President of the association Sens Espace Europe. He is in charge of the development project.

Annick Lombardet

Reception to the site, cottage management, communication. DESA architect, founder, active member and secretary of the association Sens Espace Europe. She accompanies the development project since 2010.

Christophe Mégard

DESA architect, administrator of the association Sens Espace Europe. Partner in the construction of the Arborescence house.

Rose Mégard

Consultant in management, urban project management and strategy.

Jean-Pierre Bernard

Green spaces upkeep, landscaping and site upkeep.

Philippe Dragon

Lawyer specialized in corporate tax law. Honorary member of the association Sens Espace Europe.

Odette Gal Baumgartner

DESA architect. Founder and honorary member of the Sens Espace Europe association, which she chaired from 2005 to 2013. Architect of the paths of the Sensitive Man, the Inventive Man…

Michael Flach

Structural engineer. Professor at the Institute for Construction and Material Sciences at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Innsbruck (Austria). Founder, designer and builder of the…

Charly Chaudoreille

Retired, founder of Edisud company, development project consultant. Honorary member of the Sens Espace Europe association.

Erwan Campredon

Carpenter, cabinetmaker.

Valérie Gros

Communication consulting for the association.

Olivier Scherrer

Craftsman and trainer in masonry raw earth. Supervising courses in Cantercel since 2010.

Alexander Roemer

Carpenter and architect, founder of ConstructLab.

Aymone Nicolas

Trainer of Ecoterre-Scop, a company specialized in construction projects using healthy materials while respecting the environment and heritage.

Yann Liébard

Sculptor and painter, trainer for appearance concretes.

Hervé Meyer

Architect, associate at Apache architectes.

Man Rong Jallet

Promotion of the development project and the Sens Espace Europe association.

Denis Jallet

Facilitator of the development project. Webmaster of the association’s websites.

Historic members

From left to right and from top to bottom: Philippe Rames, project manager – Julia Rau, architect – Etienne Alriq, architect.

Other members from the SCI Cantercel

From left to right and from top to bottom: Daniel Chaudoreille, entrepreneur – Samantha Campredon, director – Nicole Chabriais, architect – Christian Luginbuhl, engineer.