Text description provided by the architects. Since 1995, the Guinguette Pirate has developed an artistic and cultural project on the water, refered to as «intermediate» boats, heritage boats rehabilitated in to concert halls (the Guinguette Pirate and Batofar) and through inter disciplinary and out door events :«Musée imagianire», «Café de la marine», «Piratages» and «Sous la Plage». It is for the 2004 festival Sous la Plage, that ENCORE HEUREUX had carteblanche and produced a temporary installation with hundreds of hanging zebras «Sous les Zèbres».
In 2006, the Guinguette Pirate asks ENCORE HEUREUX to produce schematics for the conversion of a boat, the Emile Allard, into a cultural venue. However, ultimately the construction of a completely new barge that was chosen for the Petit-Bain project.
Despite being determined by the constraints of navigation, Petit-Bain is not a boat, but a building floating on the Seine. Built in a shipyard near to Paris, its measures 40 m in length and 10.5 m wide in order to pass through locks and under bridges and draws 5 meters. Permanently moored at le port de la gare, the building is composed of three levels with the concert hall in the hull, creating a double height space in front of the stage that is unexpected from the dock.
Suspended in the air, above the public, a large buoy coated with mirror facets in un dates the room with thousands of light flashes. To contrast with the whole hull and the structure made of steel, the superstructure is covered with wood: pineply wood in the restaurant on the inside and vertical slatted larch cladding outside. On the terrace, an unusual garden to be enjoyed by the public allows views of the Seine. Recovered from the demolition of a social housing complex and given by the town of Roma in ville, 33 white tubs are filled with aquatic plants, as a counter point that illustrates the name of this new floating cultural equipment.
In shades that range from bright yellow to pale green, the hull, decks and access under line this island in the city and livens the greyness of the dock. In his photo graphic work on France, Raymond Depardon stated: «The cool colors are supposed to be modern, in contrast to yellow for example. It’s hard yellow. And it’s beautiful too.»