Place du Préfet Claude Erignac
Commission of the City of Paris, 2004

My project for the Place du Préfet Claude Erignac, developed in close contact with the family Erignac, is based on several notions:
→  encounter, dialogue and exchange;
→  the transmission of humanist ideas and ideals cherished by Claude Erignac;
→  the creation of a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the square, by avoiding the overly symmetric and solumn character of the former configuration.

The concept is made up of two complementary parts:

• Twelve public benches, installed in a curve, like a wave, a flock of birds, an assembly. An asymmetric curved dispositive, with as a final point an intimate corner with two benches around a table.
The benches are the typical Parisian two-faced benches with a wooden seat and an iron structure. Each bench has three brass plates fixed on its back, with phrases from Claude Erignac’s personal notebook. They are short, virtuous sentences about subjets such as the freedom of expression, tolerance, the importance of education and of the transmission of knowledge, responsibility, civic sense, prospecting into the future, but also more emotional or funny aphorisms and proverbs. The quotations are from Woody Allen, Guillaume Apollinaire, Gaston Berger, Albert Camus, Nicolas Chamfort, René Char, Georges Clemenceau, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Jean Giraudoux, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Guillaume d’Orange, Victor Hugo, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, André Malraux, Herbert Marcuse, Marivaux, Pierre Mendès France, Mathieu Molé, Pascal, Pablo Picasso, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Sénèque, Percey Shelley, Paul Valéry, Voltaire, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola, a quotation of the jewish memorial in Nancy, a Dogon proverb, and a quotation by Claude Erignac himself.
The authors of these sentences are mentioned on a plaque at a central point, fixed on one of the planter’s edges, so that one can then find “their” bench with the help of numbers.

• At nighttime, this device is completed by the projection of one page of Erignac’s quotation notebook, on the facade of the neighbouring building that frames the entrance of the square with two high walls (without an opening). One of these walls becomes a screen, a surface for ideas, a page to write. This projection is a continuation of the sentences on the benches and animates them, transforming them into light, the essence of an idea.

→  Ville de Paris
→  Association Claude Erignac

Voir aussi
#Shadows, Projections #Public Space #Memory #Words #Politics #Public Commissions, Acquisitions #Nature, Plants, Gardens