LocationLa Défense, France
From the architect. Forme Publique inaugurates its 3rd edition of the Public Furniture Biennale located in the Parisian business district La Défense.
The original call for proposals brought together projects which addressed the general theme of "Global Village”, inviting designers to address one of three concepts: the protective shelter, work outside the scope (between hyper-connection and disconnection), and "mobile stations" for pedestrians.
"La Rue des Utopies” by the Geneva-based designers Florian López and Constantinos Hoursoglou from the agency COMPAGNIE DES RUES, was subsequently selected as one of four winning projects to be realised.
Located in the middle of La Défense business district in Paris, "La rue des Utopies" offers a moment of seclusion and contemplation. Climbing along the elevated walk visitors find themselves nestled amongst the grove of existing lime trees. The concept here was simple: to offer a completely new experience of the city only a few meters above the familiar ground plane. Users of the business district accustomed to the ubiquitous grey color scale, strict lines and hard angles are invited to err for a moment and rediscover their surroundings. The elevation enables them to leave this world behind and wander through the crown of the trees; enjoying their shady foliage and awakening their senses.
Traversing some sixty metres, the wooden promenade also invites the eye to open up to new perspectives and offers a well-deserved break from hectic schedules. The elevated view of the esplanade reveals the monumentality of the Grande Arche from another angle, whilst further along the path two shelters invite opportunities for solitary contemplation or group discussions. The intentionally human scale of the installation allows the users to make the transition from global to local: stealing away from the hypercity to a more natural habitat.