I was delighted to have been commissioned again by the collective of architect designers Ateliervecteur to photograph their new creation Intermède in Nantes, following on from the success of their Oscillation project back in 2016.
Like that previous installation, this architectural project skillfully combines both a practical function as well as offering an artistic response to the surrounding environment. The beautifully shaped wooden construct resembles the prow of a boat, presenting to those who “board it” relaxing vistas of the Saint Felix Basin, which it overhangs. In fact this deck serves for the most part as a waterside terrace to the well-heeled Felix Brasserie, where customers can enjoy a relaxing drink or seafood platter.
As with Oscillation, this design plays with form and wave-like patterns, which at certain times of day create wonderful games of light and shade. Part of the Voyage à Nantes programme, promoting culture and tourism for the town, this project is destined to remain for a period of five years. Judging by the response from both passers-by and paying restaurant goers, this architectural experimentation is proving a great success, capturing a real degree of wonderment. As it’s title suggests, the project provokes an interlude, in both the physical way in which it breaks up the road/pathway bordering the basin, and also in the spiritual sense, offering a moment of pause and beauty.
Atleliervecteur have truly met the challenge of not only integrating their design perfectly within the neighbouring urban context, but also of adding value to one of Nantes’ less well-known and more hidden areas. I look forward to seeing how this architecture evolves over the coming months, what impact and purpose it will serve during the winter and how, as the surrounding vegetation grows, it will blend even further into the river bank.