TU Delft: Msc2 - Methods of Imagination: Transdiscinplinary Encounters (2022 Q4)

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Paillon Forum

The Paillon river, a tame stream of water from the alps that flows through the mediterranean city of Nice, was once feared by the locals - from one day to the next it could go from a tame and accesible riverbed to a torrential river, flooding all those around it. In the 1970s, the battle against nature was triumphantly ended by the construction of vast tunnels through the city, taming the Paillon forever, domesticated and hidden underground.

This project aims to bring forward this piece of forgotten infrastrcture by imaginig a future where the Paillon dries up, leaving a labyrinth of unexplored tunnels below the busiest parts of the city. Following the already existing Parc to Paillon project near the sea, a park is built on top of the riverbed at street level, with intersecting grids indicating the urban fabric the river defined around it. The main path is an anthropocentric view of the ever-changing path of the water, based on a map from the early 20th century.

A square pavilion becomes the point of crossing to the underworld, with overlayed mesh outlines indicating the shape of the tunnels below, and a covered public square bringing natural light into the depths of the dark galleries. The programme follows the existing ambitions of the city, to extend the exhibition spaces of the MAMAC (Modern and Contemporary Art Museum) further, creating dark and protected exhibition and music spaces along each of the 5 tunnels. A perfect location to explore the themes of the infinite, present in many of (local) artist Yves Klein’s work.

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Park collage DAY