Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec contributed a special architectural installation to the cityscape of Rennes, France: their water pavilion evokes the design of 18th-century follies.
“Rêveries Urbaines,” meaning urban reveries is the title of the exhibition the French architect duo, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec opened in 2016. The exhibition offered ideas for developing cities in different ways: they showcased public installations, objects and micro-architectural procedures. It was from these and the post-exhibition research material that the Le Belvédère was born on the quay of Rennes.
While at night, its lights make the installation stand out, during the day, attention is more focused on its shape and texture. The base, specially developed for this project, is made of concrete with finely granulated brass particles, while the ornamental frame is composed of polished stainless steel masts and bars of polished aluminum.
The sleek structure featuring thirty-two light bulbs evokes the design of decorative pavilions popular in the 18th century. These constructions, like their name, “folly” suggests, didn’t really serve any purpose other than pleasing the eye. Although the Rennes Pavilion functions as a kind of urban lighthouse at night, still, its primary function is more aesthetic. Despite this, we wouldn’t say it has no place in Rennes—any city could use this much of daydreaming.
Photos: ©Studio Bouroullec