Régulus: A new architectural sculpture by Guillaume Aubry at Villa Paloma

Princess Caroline of Hanover has inaugurated ‘Régulus’, an architectural sculpture created by Guillaume Aubry, in the garden of Villa Paloma.

The installation, inspired by the antique garden of Villa Paloma designed by landscape architect Octave Godard, is oriented to follow the sun throughout the day. This heliotropic pavilion captures solar energy to heat and cook refreshments offered on-site.

Régulus is not just a museum café or a cocktail bar but a multifunctional space that integrates elements of all these functions. The structure, built from solid bricks in a geometric pattern, includes a central solar oven and a counter.

Guillaume Aubry, co-founder of the architectural agency Freaks, is an accomplished artist and researcher. A graduate of the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris – La Villette, the University of Tokyo, and the Beaux-Arts de Paris, Aubry has extensively studied the theme of the sun. He currently teaches spatial design at the École des arts décoratifs de Paris and has previously conducted a school residency in Monaco.

Inauguration event

The opening event for Régulus on 4th July featured a discussion between Aubry and project curator Benjamin Laugier, food and sunset cocktails from the Valentin truck, and a performed projection of the 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard.”

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Photo: Around H.S.H. Princess Caroline of Hanover (from left to right): Björn Dahlström, Director of NMNM; Guillaume Aubry, creator of the sculpture Régulus; Andréa Casiraghi; Patrice Cellario, Government Minister of the Interior; Françoise Gamerdinger, Director of Cultural Affairs of Monaco; Benjamin Laugier, Public Relations Officer at NMNM and curator of the project. Photo credit: Manuel Vitali – Direction of Communication

Institut Océanographique de Monaco and FRB join forces for Mediterranean conservation

The Institut Océanographique de Monaco and the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB) are teaming up for a groundbreaking research program to protect the Mediterranean Sea. 

On Friday, July 5th, the Institut Océanographique de Monaco and the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité (FRB) signed a partnership agreement to launch a joint research program aimed at protecting the Mediterranean Sea. The collaboration, represented by Hélène Soubelet, General Director of the FRB, and Cyril Gomez, Deputy Director General of the Institut Océanographique, marks the beginning of a strategic initiative focused on scientific cooperation and public awareness.

A new focus on the Mediterranean

Following three years dedicated to polar regions, the Institut Océanographique will shift its focus to the Mediterranean starting in 2025. The initiative aligns with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework’s goals, particularly Target 3, which aims to conserve 30% of terrestrial and marine areas by 2030 through Protected Areas and other conservation measures.

The program will include various tools and initiatives to engage and educate the public. An immersive and interactive exhibition on Mediterranean marine mammals will be unveiled at the Oceanographic Museum in the spring of 2025, attracting the museum’s 650,000 annual visitors. Additionally, the Mediterranean wing of the aquarium will be renovated by 2027. The FRB will lead a knowledge synthesis on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean, guiding these efforts.

Addressing conservation challenges

Despite a consensus on the importance of MPAs, effective protection remains limited. Although 8% of the Mediterranean is designated as protected, only 0.04% of these areas have controlled management plans. The partnership with the FRB will leverage their expertise to assess the current state of MPAs, identify implementation barriers, and propose solutions, with a focus on interactions with fisheries.

Methodology and phases

The research will be conducted in two phases. The first phase involves developing a methodology to review existing literature on MPAs, providing a preliminary framework. The second phase, expected to conclude by the end of 2025, will synthesise this knowledge to support effective conservation policies.

Collaboration with key organisations

The project will build on extensive Mediterranean research conducted by key organisations like the IUCN’s Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and WWF Mediterranean. A public-friendly version of the findings will be co-published with these partners, whose deep regional knowledge will be crucial to the project’s success.

Promoting and strengthening conservation efforts

The union of scientific and communication expertise from the four institutions aims to enhance understanding of the Mediterranean’s challenges and promote robust conservation tools. This initiative will play an active role in preserving this vital marine environment.

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Main photo: Hélène Soubelet, General Director of the French Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), and Cyril Gomez, Deputy Director General of the Oceanographic Institute, Albert I Foundation, Prince of Monaco, at the Maison de l’Océan in Paris. Photo provided