collaborators: Greta Colombo, Lorenza Manfredi

with ma0 studio d‘architettura, Rome

The project for the Bastion St. Antoine aims to horizontally interweave existent and new structures, the historic and contemporary, time and space. This entails for one to extend the given urban context and amend it with an additional type of public space. Also, a direct and atmospheric access into the historic soil and architectural structures is created.

The exhibition building with a fully walkable roof creates a new level, slightly raised over the surrounding urban texture. This place is lined with three tiers of seats which concurrently makes it a stage and lead to another, high level, a belvedere from where one has an outlook onto the alps, the city and glimpses of the lake. In the other direction, a generous ramp virtually leads into the Bastion and to the public entrance of the exhibition building. The bastion wall here becomes exposed and reaches a height of up to 2,80 m. Seen from the interior the wall surface is historic exhibit but also turns atmospheric prompter for the slanted public place.

All of the surface area of the Bastion St. Antoine is fitted with a new, homogenous paving while creating three distinctly different spatial qualities. The bastion’s surface is paved with grids of large format, quadrangular concrete slabs. The grids respectively follow the triangulated areas whose spatial qualities each are enhanced and functionalized by individual elements: the tiers of seat on the top square receive a thin seat material of resilient laminated boards. The sequence of steps thus becomes a tribune. At Rue Charles Galland the grid of the adjacent grove of hackberry trees is continued on the other side of the street and forms a columned hall. This hall is fitted with a large circular bench. In front of the entrance to the exhibition building a couch-like bench mediates interior and exterior.

The grid of pavers on the ramp furthermore integrates a discrete group of honey locusts and the relocated Fountain de la Amitié. Along the whole bastion a narrow strip of gravel mediates and accentuates between the pavement and the historic (wall) structures. The width of the strip follows the given situations. Around the casemate such a gravel area embeds the archaeological remnants and allows a glimpse of the exterior of the vault.