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Bernard Tschumi

©Philippe Magnon

  • Parc de la Villette, Paris, 1991
  • Folie P7
  • Scale model
  • Bois, peinture, métal, plastique, carton
  • 21.9 x 60.9 x 30.7 cm
  • 992 01 63

Parc de la Villette, Paris, 1983-1992

The program for the Parc de la Villette envisaged a major concentration of a broad range of cultural, pedagogical, sporting and leisure activities on a 55-hectare site. Tschumi won the competition held for the project in 1982. He decided not to construct additional buildings but rather to distribute the requirements of the program across the entire site. The Parc, located on the edge of the city, a meeting place for cultural exchanges and blending, had to fit three types of requirements, i.e., receive the main activities of course, and deal with the related flows, while creating areas for sports and leisure. Tschumi proposed three superimposed systems: points materialized by the Follies; the curving and straight lines indicating the circulations and, for the playing fields, surfaces defined by vast green expanses. These systems overlap in “contaminations”, intersections that invite the spectator/stroller to alternate from one type of use to another. The twenty-five Follies of the Parc de la Villette, placed at intervals of 120 meters, form a regular and orthogonal grid distributed across the whole site. Some of them have a function (restaurant, café, security office, etc.), others have none. They were all designed based on the principle of creating variations of a red cube with sides of 10.8 meters, all more or less open to the exterior and revealing a structure of 27 smaller cubes with sides of 3.6 meters. Their generic name, “folly,” is a reference to the Folia of the baroque period, which were musical variations on a unchanging bass composed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, as well as to the Follies of 18th century English gardens, which were picturesque structures designed to surprise and delight strollers, but also to the common noun Folly. Each one has its own name (Submarine Folly, P7, N5), evoking a huge imaginary naval battle underway across the whole park.

Nadine Labedade

Inventory / Slideshow [34]