Upside Down

Florelle CEZE, Eléonore LEVIEUX, Yoann BACH, CLB architecture, France


Explanatory Note

Infrastructure: imagination and become

Infrastructure crosses, dissects, ignores and spans the territories. Its outline results usually from a technical genius and it imposes itself on the environment. The latter is disrupted. The territory undergoes the support of a flow whose scale exceeds it. Infrastructure face an imaginary linked to nuisances ; pollution, noise, nervousness … tarnish their reputation. 

Yet infrastructure is also attached to an imaginary linked to the escape, extraterritoriality; it opens the field of possibilities. The bridge shows a feat in terms of engineering. Its brutalist concrete architecture relates the force convened to challenge the geographical elements. Structural details draw a setting that denotes the rest of the landscape.

Impressive in its size and scope, its presence marks a bunch of territory and creating a shadow zone, suspend, left out of urbanization.

Originally, the infrastructure was located far from city centers, today the urban development brings it within the city. Land attached to them, long neglected, now becomes an opportunity. 

Upside Down

Telling the city from the infrastructure

Like a traveling rail, infrastructure draws a line in the landscape that gives an angle of view, directs the eye. The bridge disrupts «natural» geography of the site, it overturns its contours. It creates high points to observe the site from above.

The motorist who travels on the top of the infrastructure, observes a series of images framed by the passenger compartment. Only a few emergences enable him to identify where he is, to understand that he is actually crossing a river. The pedestrian who explores the underside of the infrastructure is required to collect a interspersed landscape, framed by the long bridge deck and succession of columns. 

To design a suspension bridge route

The project aims to plot an itinary for the festival. The latter is a part of a scenography which highlights the intrinsic qualities of the site namely contrasting topography. The ground level is increasing gradually to draw the different beds of the river, the bridge pick up from ground level to span the river.

The objective is to take advantage of the structure that forms the bridge and to hang a horizontal footbridge parallel to the deck of the infrastructure that oscillates between the columns

The beams conceal fasteners that suspend an envelope that identifies the footbridge The shell forms a backdrop for the visitor who observes the various elements set. Its changing rate offers variable settings.

The underside of the highway becomes a museum; Gateway embodies the meaning of the visit; the envelope is an element of identification involved in this general scenography.

The envelope : an inverted roof

A structure consisting of a blade timber shape cocoon around the bridge. This is comparable to the outer shell of a boat hull, wood cabinets are hung between two beams of the bridge deck. Some blades are fixed, some others are slidable, in the same way as a curtain. 

The shell material refers tothe surrounding port industry. Old boat hulls can be recycled and used to implement this design.

The form that draws the envelope refers to the imaginary of a ship but also of a house. Shelter reversed, impervious to the negative vibrations of traffic, it refers to the image of the home. The footbridge is a bracket with a sensory experience to share yet integrated into the festival. The bridge deck is the floor of the reversed house; it is also the roof of the house because it protects its interior. A mirror effect challenges benchmarks, swaps the functions and upsets the a priori. 

Play territory and sequences of the visit

The project can be divided into five sequences.

The first sequence corresponds to a rise whitich is perceptibled from the top of the bridge. The structure of wood strips comes above the bridge deck in order to signify the stairs that lead to the underside. Such follies, they create signals and insert themself inside the traveling of the motorist.

The second sequence takes up on the south of the bridge. It corresponds to the main gateway of the festival. It is here that the bridge starts. This is surrounded by removable wood blades. The blades can thus be adapted to the exhibits.

The third sequence is the section that overlooks the river. The bridge touches the water surface. The visitor has the feeling of walking on water. The structure of the shell here is regular. It draws vertical bars which are repeated like the fittings wrap film. Then, the footbridge splits to accommodate bleachers that invite contemplation.

The fourth sequence repeats the principles of the second one. The wooden slats soften and revert such removable curtains of a window. The footbridge opens into a park that is a continuation of existing parks around. This linear park under the freeway expands to be able to host some follies. These ones are similar to those located near the stairs of the bridge . The wooden slats form frames that reveal the surrounding component : the metal rectangular huts, the large warehouses, the trees of the park, the magnificent dome.


> to create a route within the festival which takes the form of a upside down home and create unexpected points of view

> to put the landscape and the urban fabric within unexpectable frames > to stop the flow ang go back to the local
> to scenography abandoned space, to open it and let it to be seen… 


Florelle CEZE, Eléonore LEVIEUX, Yoann BACH

CLB architecture

Florelle Ceze is an architect. She has a degree in geography and a master in urban planning. She works on public spaces design and she is in charge of the development of few areas inside the greater paris.

Eleonore Levieux  is an architect. She has a master in urban design. She works on urban studies. She participates to a lot of architecture festival as Belastock. 

Yoann Bach is an architect since 2010. Has been leading over the course of his professional experience as well as expertises on buildings projetcs, offices, residentials… on public spaces projects.

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