With stone from the Paris basin, the project “Bossage” will use digital machining to reproduce certain fragments of Paris’ architectural landscape to attenuate the massiveness of the barriers used to protect monuments and their aesthetic and psychological impact on the urban landscape.
" The current environment demands that we increase the ways that we anticipate events to protect the public. The spread of security devices serves to protect both Parisians and tourists. We have observed the protection initiatives taken at tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower, which are likely to increase in light of international events. Our project merges protection with the decorative arts to promote the life of the city by defending two fundamental positions: freedom of movement and aesthetics. The main challenge is, how to soften the massiveness of these protective barriers using decorative elements to insert them into the urban cityscape in an aesthetically and psychologically more positive manner? Paris is built out of stone and is predominantly mineral. We find that stone from Paris’ basin constitutes the best material for creating a subtle dialogue with the city’s existing heritage. The stone is cut, assembled, and grafted. The embossment is done using digital machining tools to create a maximum adaptability to specific architectural contexts.
Embossment in architecture is a relief created on the surface of either wood or stone. It can be made for ornamental purposes (it can even be sculpted) to create an interplay or light and shadow, or for defensive purposes, for example, to render a wall less vulnerable to attacks by impacting objects.
Using the cut stone, we will create a flexible, modular range of objects that will provide —in addition to protection— comfort (seating, protection from the elements) and services (signage, fountains), depending on the needs of each site. We plan to cut and chisel the stone with the greatest care to preserve its most refined qualities. The rocks can be arranged in different configurations in function of the specific nature of each site and the different degree of protection provided for people at in that space. The blocks delineate the spaces to create havens of peace. They are complemented by more intimate spaces where passers-by can make use of these rocks. To integrate them esthetically into the various sites, we will “take” certain fragments of Paris’ architectural landscape and reproduce them on the rocks using digital machining tools. Mimesis and illusion thereby initiate an esthetic and artistic dialogue with the monuments.
In addition to the protection component, we plan to develop a flexible, modular range to provide comfort and additional services, such as seating, protection from the sun and rain, and a water fountain, for example. This grafting principle increases the usage value and the adaptability to a site’s specific needs. "
Charlotte Hubert, Jean-Jacques Hubert, and Antoine Santiard
The firm was created in 2005 and is represented by the 3 architect partners and co-directors:
- Charlotte Hubert, licensed architect and Chief Architect for Historical Monuments
- Jean-Jacques Hubert, licensed architect
- Antoine Santiard, EPFL architect
h2o is a firm for architectural, heritage, and urban creation and reprogramming that works on projects of all sizes (including buildings, the restoration of historic monuments, public spaces, and urban planning).
Gaëlle Gabillet and Stéphane Villard
Studio GGSV was founded in 2011 by Gaëlle Gabillet and Stéphane Villard. Studio GGSV’s use of space as a site for experimentation in design led it to create singular set designs and interior layouts. Microarchitectures, installations, and unusual objects create a direct, sensitive, and instructive relationship between viewers and the content and function of a site. The materials, relationships of scale, and the forms employed create an unforgettable sense of ambience.