A PRECIOUS PLACE
There’s a new one! The most recently created suburban refuge welcomed its first hosts in early July.
The first was a cloud. It was placed beside a lake in 2010, starting the process which saw an abandoned quarry become a muchloved park. Following that, all around the urban area of Bordeaux more works of art started to pop up: a six-seater hammock made out of wood and metal; three watchful owls, standing guard back-to-back; a hollowed-out trunk made into a space capsule; a pentagram camp; a cabin with the tail of a dragon wrapped around it; a Cinemascope box; a pyramid with accompanying sphinxes. Le ‘Haut-perché’* (“very tall”) has just been finished and its arches sit atop stilts beside the water, next to the Moulinat windmill in the commune of Le Haillan. These urban refuges are transforming the margins of the city into landscapes that allow us to escape from the city or take walks to discover the surrounding nature. As seen in these special sites, the urban refuge programme is emblematic of the work of Bruit du frigo, a collective of plastic artists, architects and town-planners for whom the city remains a dream. The collective is supported by Bordeaux Métropole and is helped by their partners in fine arts and construction, Zébra3, with whom they have created the Pola federation. They also ask artists from all over to help them come up with architectural works that blend into their destined location. These constructions are mostly made out of wood, and are restored every year, ready for the beginning of March from which point they will stay in use until the end of November; they offer a quirky night’s stay for regular or rare walkers. It’s an alternative kind of accommodation for an escape from the city or for a fun adventure and they function much in the same way as their cousins in the mountains: unguarded, free, mattress provided, composting toilet nearby. Not included: sheets, duvet, water or energy. The only notable difference is that you have to reserve online (with a little luck), online booking opens at the beginning of each month for the month ahead. It’s a fascinating experience. *site only accessible on foot or on bike.