This year’s theme was “Climate”, in the context of the upcoming COP 21 Conference in Paris. We decided first to examine the very concept of Climate. It is not an object but something ambiguous, transforming, ephemeral, fragile, multi-scaled and a phenomenon of indefinite shape. Creating an artwork expressing this concept of Nature, that is, creating an essentially artificial piece, was a real challenge. In order to take up this challenge, we worked on two elements, Haze and Light.
The site we were offered was a pedestrian tunnel, still under construction, for a new train station. The tunnel was a raw and interesting space. As architects, we wanted to create an ephemeral and ambiguous space in this outdoor public space. To achieve this architectural idea, we integrated a huge twisted transparent veil so as to distort the scale and create a multi-scale space.
The veil was important not only for the scale but also to maintain the vague shape of the haze. We tested several combinations of textures of veils and types of haze to create a delicate phenomenon in which the haze both stayed within the veil and could waft through it. Our intention was to achieve an ever-changing vision. This was our creation on the theme of Climate.
Indeed, controlling the natural movement of the haze with a veil was expressing exactly our message to today’s society. In the context of the COP 21 conference, we think it is important to create rules to respect the climate but we want to remind people that a partial control that leaves a certain freedom inside established frameworks is also paramount. With this freedom, Nature creates beautiful moments. We aimed to create one such beautiful moment by letting elements move beyond some framework or regulation. The haze and light were not entirely within our control; we only gave these two elements a certain range or direction, which is why we named the project “Spectrum”.
The lighting was programmed to create a subtle and natural phenomenon similar to an aurora borealis. It was composed of three colors: blue, green and red. So our challenge was to create a natural effect by using the completely artificial RGB spectrum. The lighting also had an important role to play in order to emphasize the movement of the haze.
The sound was composed with the same logic. We basically used two close frequencies, not entirely respecting the rule of frequencies of classical harmony. Because in Nature, sounds do not obey one rule but only sound beautiful to our ears by chance. We wanted to somehow create these beautiful sounds by going beyond the rules.
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