The competition brief, A Bridge in Paris, allows us to locate an architectural reflection within this same realm of contemporary urban enjoyment. We note first that the notion of happiness is often linked to Nature (« Happiness is in the countryside. » goes one common French expression). And we recognize that human beings remain nostalgic for and imaginative of a state of primal happiness, of ancestral times when body and spirit were essentially free. The city has grown to conform our movement to regular rituals and daily itineraries.
It appears to us that Paris has the bridges and passages necessary for the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic across its waterways. Our intention is to invite its visitors and inhabitants to engage on a newer and more playful path across this same water. We propose, now, a distinctive urban feature: an inflatable bridge equipped with giant trampolines, dedicated to the joyful release from gravity as one bounces above the river. Installed near the Bir-Hakeim Bridge, the Bridge is formed of inflatable modules, like giant life-preservers, 30 meters in diameter. In the central part of each ring, a trampoline mesh is stretched. The floating buoys, fabricated in PVC membrane, are attached together by cord to form a stable and self-supporting ensemble. Each module under tension – filled with 3700 cubic meters of air – develops in space with an arch-like form.
Designed entirely of light materials – PVC membrane, trampoline mesh, air – our project crosses the Seine at a specific point; it can of course adapt to larger or smaller dimensions at other sites. The Saut de Seine allows every visitor a novel view of Paris from his or her own unique spatial position: upright and leaping, upside down and tumbling, gliding above like a circus performer…
The installation is located in direct relationship to Eiffel’s tower, itself a symbol of ephemeral architecture designed to provide a unique experience: a view of all of Paris. We think the superposition of these two works reveals a specific kind of architecture: one designed to install an experience of happiness in the city.Location: Paris, France Architect: A/ZC – Atelier Zündel & Cristea
Award: ArchTriumph Competition 2012 3rd prize Program: Bridge in Paris