Combining Reality Whilst Conserving A Part Of Fiction
The project “Strasbourg, ville refuge.” (Strasbourg, shelter city.), adresses the issue of refugees in Strasbourg. Here is a brief presentation of my project.
Many migrants and refugees arrive in the camp. That he is auto-established, Humanitarian or State, inside a city or in its periphery, it is the stage between the place of departure and the arrival. Supposed temporary, it is a rich place where, pushed by the precariousness and the urgency, the initiatives build up themselves, the solidarity settles down, and the creativity peaks. Under all its forms the camp is this duality between an indistinct future and a temporary gathering which create a community and the condition of foreigner. The camp, which should be the place of reconstruction and inclusion, often finds itself a place of exclusion. His implantation in periphery, in margin, on the border, confirms that the refugees are the first ones locked outside (Michel Foucault). Every indications shows that we face a will of invisibilisation of these populations while the visibility and the consideration would be the first factors of integration.
It is imperative to wonder where to accommodate these newcomers? What a passing housing environment? How to build a city of the hospitality? How to rethink the camp?
A first answer is the setting-up in an existing urban fabric and not outside to create an environment favorable to the integration. This project has searched vacant, obsolete spaces, waiting spaces, which punctuates the city and which establish a potential land reserve. This project thus fits into an existing parking lot which is little used today but which takes advantage of a central place in the city of Strasbourg. It was necessary to think about a new shape of housing because they are essentially intended for alone people. The idea was to avoid the solitude and to favor the reconstruction by the exchange and the sharing by offering wide spaces of meeting.
Who influences you graphically?
I’m influenced by what relates to the image generally, be it painting, cinema, visual communication, photography, drawings… The communication occupies a very important place in architecture, and I believe that it is essential to feed on all the possible references. For example, at the beginning of this project I borrowed an image from Fellini’s film 8 ½, I re-used a picture of scaffolding to represent a structure. For this final images I was inspired by young architects (such as NP2F, Fala Atelier), by renders made by students. To build my color palette I turned to the fine arts.
How does your graphic language relate to the thesis and reinforce the theme of inclusion so important to a topic like this one?
For this render, the idea was to create something refined which could give more way to the imagination. Indeed, I didn’t want to do photo-realism because I find that on one hand we can’t know exactly in advance, and on the other hand photo-realism moves away from the idea of process so important in this project. To freeze things this way would be a lie.
That’s why I wanted to approach myself to the illustation and naive graphism which, I think, is more convenient to represent flexibility and to stimulate people’s imagination. Here, the project is not a end in itself, it’s rather a process which is transformed to adapt itself to the urban and social transfers.
What lead to the choice of a grey/red colour palette?
My goal was to combine the reality of the context by conserving a part of fiction. The grey is what maintains us in the existing, it refers to the concrete massive structure of the parking in which the project fits. The orange/red tones, are warm colors which, for me, represented the places of vibrations, exchanges, and interactions. It was necessary to insist and to catch the eye on these spaces because they are rich spaces in this project.
What dictated how you framed the selected views? What kind of narrative do they try to tell?
The views have been framed in a frontal way – I wanted to highlight the simplicity and the non-sophisticated spirit of the project. It is a way to go right to the heart and to emphasize the strong lines. This brutal framing enhances the rigidity of the parking which is also a part of the identity of the project.
What is the effect and purpose of the use of texture?
Texture refers to material, it allows the creation of depth and stresses the light effects. And as for these drawings, the texture is suggestive, but it is present to show that a wall will never be smooth and that it offers some substance.
You talk about exchange and interaction but neglect to ‘zoom in’ on this aspect, why so?
As I said previously the red colour suggests the exchanges and interactions which are important in this project. The view from the exterior of the project shows the different degrees of interactions : the ground floor is the most lively place, it’s a public space, where we can find a coffee, a restaurant, workshops/shops, medical offices, and the reception for the inhabitants of the project. The upper floors bring together collective spaces (only for the inhabitants of the project), shared spaces which are intended for 6 to 8 people according to the housing, and finally the private space which is the bedroom intended for someone. Some spaces, such as some of the collective spaces, are not shown in these drawings, but are rather expressed with other graphic instruments like plans and physical models.