Contest Submission

a series of branch shelters

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Type of Work: spatial installation, permanent

Hinging between art and architecture, a series of branch shelters encourages the locals to interact, play, experiment and participate. The project realisation is highly process-driven, involving the locals in creation and transformation of Place des Alliés. We advocate for participants to develop ownership through making and in turn strengthening the relationship between people and place.

The notion of play often alludes to childhood moments. We are particularly interested in playfulness in the woods as we find structures and shelters composed of tree branches. Some built as a little secret hide-out together with friends while some were assembled during a family panic in the forest. All of which leaves a mark of presence and inhabitation. But above all, a secret invitation to others to participate and add to the creation.

Continuing this notion of play and presence into Place des Alliés, an atelier of other finds a strong relevance and significance in providing arbor shelters in the midst of this concrete jungle. Much like the branches and twigs relying structurally on the existing trees in the forest, our projects will work with the existing structural lamp posts to enhance the urban furniture.

A series of branch shelters would like to gather residents of active demographics to be a part of the making. The design shall be accessible and modular in quantity yet flexible and adjustable depending on the precise location of the installation.

Estimated time: 3 months
Estimated cost: €14,933.38

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you for your suggestion but I am asking myself a few questions, being close to the place (and a bit of the profession too …)
    I have the feeling that you did not take into account the wishes of the inhabitants during the workshop, I cannot find any point mentioned in your proposal, except perhaps for the color.
    I wonder the interest of such a device when there is no tree or wood in the immediate vicinity, your message is not very easy to assimilate I think.

    Do you think you have the authorization to wean yourself from support on public lampposts? Security concern?
    What happens in the event of a gust of wind? The place being very exposed, your installation seems very fragile to me, do you have an idea of ​​the weight, how does it hold?

    Then, your service seems very expensive. More than 22% of the total price, I find that enormous, having been a design teacher myself, 15% of the price is a maximum limit, there are conventions …
    I also wonder why you write the total sum with the pennies … It would seem to me more judicious to specify the number of total structure on the place rather than to commit on such a precise price at this stage not?

    But the idea will appeal to passing children, but to get to know the place well there are mostly teenagers and I doubt that they are sensitive to this type of installation.

  2. We are more attracted to open calls that see value in creativity of different forms, within which embodying a layer of speculation and imagination. To fulfill the wishes or criteria of the public, a checklist if you like, is one of many approaches in offering ideas and possibilies to a project.

    We shall not reiterate the notion of play and it’s importance in the urban environment and would advise on precedents of Aldo van Eyck’s In-between and 17 Playground and text of Homo Ludens as a gateway to our narrative.

    Besides an architectural and artistic installation, we remind ourselves the participatory aspect and to organise such workshop. Feel free to refer to http://www.cambodia.aaschool.ac.uk/ which may offer insight to how we develop projects locally. I suppose as design teacher and educator, one would value such knowledge and exchange.

    As architects, we are unable to indulge you challenging our technical experiences. Yet we gracefully consider your opinion. Nonetheless, your targeted scruntiny is well heard.

  3. Thank you for your (partial) answer, I still think that the wishes of the inhabitants of the district (https://diffmix.lu/diffmix-workshops-how-we-can-co-create-community-places/) take precedence over all other considerations…I think that your proposal is not quite appropriate contextually speaking, which in no way detracts from its original dimension.
    Oh yes, I really appreciate the sharing of knowledge. Before being a design teacher, I had several lives as I like to recall…thank you for your link, I would take a closer look.
    Allow me, but as an architect (or any other profession for that matter), you should on the contrary constantly question your technical experiences and probably be a little more humble too…
    You are obviously still a young professional and you learn from the projects you tackle and also how to question your technical and cultural background.
    I wish you the best in this competition and with your projects. Good luck.
    Birgit

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Place des Alliés is a main square located in the Fousbann area of the City of Differdange. This area is marked by the big industrial site of the AlcelorMittal (former ARBED / HADIR) – a historically important center of steel production that is less than 300m away from Place des Alliés. A part of the industrial site had been recently reconverted to the 1535 Creative Hub (200m direct walking way from the square), hosting around 300 creatives. Although the hub is significant for the changing city identity, it is seen by residents as quite isolated and closed to the public....
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