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The Camargue Arena

Part 1 Project 2002
Markus Lobmaier
Jonathan Steiner
London Metropolitan University London UK
Tidal Space Translator: Rarely do we notice the minute spatial fluctuations between water and land. The Tidal Space Translator interprets this constant flux into determinable yet still fluctuating spatial structures. A series of tubes, flaps, enveloped space and a bladder connected by hoses and floating partly under the water line are driven by the kinetic energy of the wave and in turn alter and break up the constant broil into `effervescent translations´.

Scape: The device takes advantage of seemingly imperceptible incidents and in its performance manifested these as tangible spatial events. The Scape device is the catalyst for trailing `oscillating reconfigurations´. Its movements are triggered by the fluctuating conditions of space in interaction with or agitated by the landscape’s other occupants. From the centre, lines of `receptors´ stretch out into the field to end in dislocated `sensorial nodes´. The receptors behave like cats whiskers: relaying information about contact and interaction. The dumb-looking armatures are, in fact, carefully, and continually counter-balancing. Every full swing or movement slightly alters their trajectory – oscillations occur. A fan on a highly unbalanced spine whirls, sweeps and smudges across the neighbouring territories.

THE CAMARGUE ARENA: Social Effervescence and Seasonal Reconfigurations.

The building, a Duck Plucking Factory takes advantage of the vernacular traditions of the site and the region. Observations of both the landscape and its people provide the narratives of the design. Seasonal changes and climatic peculiarities are reflected upon both programmatically as well as spatially.

The seasonal change of tourists and ducks in the Camargue is the instigator for a building that becomes an arena for duck-hunters, market-traders, feather-pluckers and tourists. A local market, processing areas and lounges are sheltered from the heat and the wind. Local materials like excavated soil and reed are used as rammed earth walls and green roofs. Reed mats harvested from the roof wrap around the building offering shade and drafts.

Markus Lobmaier
Jonathan Steiner


Markus’ work has included subtle investigations of the minute changes of the turning tide —the in-between of water, land and air, fluctuating spatial structures on notional landscapes and an extremely comprehensive building proposal where complimentary programs of industry and tourism take advantage of the seasonal occupation of the Camargue Delta in the South of France. Markus’ sensitivity to cultural influences, site and program, the thoroughness of his pragmatic research are augmented by a stubborn optimism and have made his work remarkable.

2002
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