CONCRETE ISLANDS
École Spéciale d'Architecture 2006
Workshop Peter Macapia
with Charles-Edmond Henry, Martial Marquet & Antoine Sarrat

 

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« Modern technology, as I tried to show in Crash… offers an endless field day to any deviant strains in our personalities. Marooned…on a traffic island, we can tyrannise ourselves, test our strengths and weaknesses, perhaps come to terms with aspects of our characters to which we have always closed our eyes. » James Graham Ballard wrote about his novel Concrete island which put in scene a modern Robinson Crusoe, stuck on a residual space between three highways.
This project is an homage to this fable. It takes place in the Paris most important traffic node: la porte de Bercy. Paradoxically, this communication node represents a real obstacle for pedestrians who would like to go back and forth between suburbs and Paris. Crossing this boundary as a pedestrian equals escaping from the car / predators’ hunt and risk of being stuck on an island as in Ballard’s novel actually exists.
This project proposes a flirt with danger by crossing this hostile environment by a rudimentary aspect pathway built in consideration of forces acting on this site. In fact, our “creeper bridge” is only composed by three threads as three artefacts conversing parametrically with the site:
- Structural thread goes denser as the pathway is closer from hanging/laying nodes
- Acoustic thread goes denser as the pathway is closer from high traffic noise spaces
- Lighting thread goes denser as the pathway is closer from dark spaces
Thus, this pathway allows cars and pedestrians to become entangled and to discuss towards and architectural creation.

Léopold Lambert / Architect[e], Editor & Writer
leopold.funambulistATgmail.com