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la saline

Nantes - 2002

On the edge of the immense forest of Chaux, whose wood supplies raw material for the alchemy of salt, the Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, in its definitive plan drawn up in 1774, gives a precise idea of ​​the use of buildings for a saline industry, but also emphasizes the importance of gardens in the architecture of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux: whether they are the director, the clerks or the workers, they occupy essential spaces within the perimeter of the site .

In 2001, new gardens were created within the monument. Without pretending to redraw the authentic working gardens, nor to reproduce vegetable gardens of the eighteenth or nineteenth century, a series of 14 unpublished gardens, contemporary, artistic, animated and colored the site throughout the summer season. The public was thus invited to take more advantage of the outdoor spaces during the summer, and to walk around the back of the buildings, along the enclosure, to have new views on this monumental complex.

The experience, renewed in 2002, saw the emergence of another approach: ephemeral artistic and architectural installations mainly using wood, entrusted to the students of the school of architecture of Grenoble, and Wasada (Japan) and an internationally renowned architect.


On the basis of the Workshop experimented in Nantes in 2001 by the French Institute of Architecture, for the design and the assembly of the exhibition Team Zoo at the Unique Place, the Claude-Nicolas Ledoux Institute entrusted to the Japanese architect Kinya Maruyama the coordination of a workshop of design and realization of installations in situ in two distinct spaces of the saline:

- One located between the building of Coopers and that of the Guards: where takes place "the Dragon" or "the Wow" - The other, between the Maréchaux and the Gardes building: where the "Dancing / Thinking" structure takes place, A garden dedicated to wood, "the causeway of the giants", was also created.

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