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Prize-winner FAIRE 2018

QUARRY AIR

Frédéric Blaise, Guillaume Duranel et Julia Lenoir, architectes Emma Lelong et Rémi Nguyen, designers

QUARRY AIR By reinterpreting the principle of the Canadian well, the raw earth climate bank uses cool air from underground Parisian quarries to cool public space in Paris in the summer.

By reinterpreting the principle of the Canadian well, the raw earth climate bank uses cool air from underground Parisian quarries to cool public space in Paris in the summer.

"When temperatures rise, Paris’ urban environment overheats to a degree that is hard to bear. To fight this phenomenon, which is called an “Urban Heat Island,” the City of Paris is developing tools that will make urban environments more resilient to these climatic issues.

We have reinterpreted the principle of the Canadian well to bring cool air from Paris’ underground quarries to the surface. Our proposal uses a resource that is free, unused, and naturally renewable to improve conditions in the public space. Our multidisciplinary team of designers, architects, and urban planners has focused on this pressing matter and is proposing a simple, effective solution for cooling public spaces during the summer.

Paris’ underground consists in part of a large network of stone quarries whose air averages 14 degrees year-round, regardless of the variations in surface temperature. This led us to envision a solution for cooling the public space through a new type of urban furniture that has a welcoming function during heat waves and which allows for new, spontaneous uses to spring up.

The installation consists of three modules of varying heights and depths that will welcome different postures. They are created by compressing raw earth in molds and assembled in molds. These modules are designed with struts that, once assembled, create regular openings that allow air from the quarries to flow through the modules. To connect to the quarries, the installation is positioned at the site of existing service wells. This allows them to benefit from the cool air that will be extracted with a simple electric motor pump installed below ground.

In addition to being a local material, raw earth is known for its thermal effusivity, the ability to store heat within its mass while preserving a surface that is cool to the touch. Considering the City of Paris’ need to rationalize the encumbering of its public space, our urban furniture project is easy to install and remove; therefore, it will not crowd the public space outside its typical periods of usage.

Once the mold has been created, the modules can be produced in large numbers at low cost. They can be installed, removed, and recycled between periods of use. Inspired by furniture already present in the urban space, such as the bench, the column, and the table, these new urban ventilators rely on the symbolic heritage of the quarries to provide the project with a singular image and a considerable showcase effect. Its environmental positioning may interest users and partners. In step with the City of Paris’ plans for its urban furniture and in an attempt to resolve problems of sustainable development, our proposal seeks to initiate a dialogue about short-term proposals to improve the use of urban space during very hot summer periods as we find and implement longer-term, broader scale solutions.”
Project by
Frédéric Blaise, Guillaume Duranel, and Julia Lenoir, architects
Emma Lelong and Rémi Nguyen, designers

Partners

@FAIRE_PARIS

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