Cultural Endowment of Estonia in architecture / architecture 2018 nominee
Location
Seine'i kaldapealne, Prantsusmaa
Took place
7.12.2017–21.01.2018, at the festival „Loov Eesti“
Authors
Ralf Lõoke, Maarja Kask (Salto Arhitektuuribüroo)
Neeme Külm
Commissioned by
Cité de la Mode et du Design
Photos
Brigitte Baudesson

On the one hand, it is a playful, visually effective and technically ambitious installation that visitors tested with great interest, on the other hand, it also had a hint of a deeper meaning and socio-political statement. Heat Wave was a critical commentary on the increasingly serious climate problems. The way in which the heat wave reacted to a person’s movement with playful ease underscored the fact that every act of a single individual has a specific consequence initiating another process. Heat Wave also had a subtext related to the specific site: the riverbank had previously been used by homeless people. The heatwave glowing in the crisp winter air with its movement subjected to the human will standing before it asks us the thorny question: who decides who will have access to the basic human rights and to what extent?
Triin Loks, NID, curator of festival “Loov Eesti”

It was a moving board emitting heat and light that was programmed to move along the river bank and change its direction according to people’s movement. All imaginable technical problems were already encoded into such an object from the very beginning. Also the fact that it had to be dismantled before the end of the exhibition due to the flooding banks of Seine perfectly suited the initial topic.

It is essentially a site-specific installation referring to the Paris Agreement on climate change and in a distorted way also to the year-round outdoor café tradition and the heating of outdoor air. It encompasses a wide spectrum of topics such as comfort, global warming, safety and equal opportunities – issues that are clearly perceivable in Paris. Before the establishment of the design and fashion centre at the site of the installation, there had been the main night-shelter for the local homeless. Although discussing mainly socio-political issues, for us the installation also had a strong entertaining aspect.

We often feel that architecture is a discipline strictly aimed at answers. On the one hand, our installations provide site-specific spatial solutions, but at the same time it is also important that they tackle more general topics generating new questions and opportunities that might depend on every individual user.

 

Ralf Lõoke