A PRECIOUS PLACE

There’s a new one! The most re­cent­ly crea­ted sub­ur­ban re­fuge wel­co­med its first hosts in ear­ly Ju­ly.

Bordeaux Moments - - Nature -

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.

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