KOL/MAC (Sulan Kolatan & William Mac Donald)

Un niveau continu. Mille plateaux, 2006

In this project devised as part of the competition for the new FRAC Centre installation in Orléans, at the entrance to the site, KOL/MAC proposed an experimental architecture, mirroring the FRAC collection: a building with complex geometry resulting from the most recent digital developments and implementing a continuous path. This architecture, intended as aerial and levitating, would have been built in “projected” concrete, a technique used in the “sculpture architectures” of the 1960s and 1970s, making it possible to create organic forms without shuttering. Facing the boulevard, this sinuously shaped building thus creates the junction between the side wings, rising 3.5 metres/12 feet from the ground. The visitors’ circuit is the essential force behind its spatial organization where the idea of storeys becomes blurred. The project proposed a single visitor level, with the possibility of discovering all the exhibitions without using a single staircase. The feeling of spatiality was exaggerated, the diagonal dominated, and the hanging of the works merged with the circuit. This “dynamic continuum” of interior spaces thus replaced the habitual division of programmatic functions, preferring the notion of “connective” space to that of neutral space. Like a sort of mineral amphitheatre, the courtyard was transfigured into a set-like or landscaped space, suitable for uses akin to those of a public place. From the gallery-bridge which crosses it, projections could be made onto the façade of the central building. The contribution of the artist Philippe Ramette played on the notion of gravity, and the reversal thereof, through the furnishing elements (chair, lamp), sometimes reversed, sometimes scattered over the inclined planes of the courtyard and functioning by night like lit signs.

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