As part of a self-build house renovation project in the Delacroix and Molinet streets in Boulogne-sur-Mer led by the Construire agency (Patrick Bouchain) and Sophie Ricard, the inhabitants of the neighbourhood wanted an artistic project alongside the building project. The commissioning group very quickly expressed the need to create a space of exchange within the area. They pointed out that there was no the no space for the children in the neighbourhood. Neither is there a community centre or a place where the neighbours cans meet. Several people said they would be pleased to set up activities and support ideas that would bring people together.
The commissioning group decided they needed to create a space for exchange within the community. The aim was to bring the local inhabitants together and to improve the image of the neighbourhood with an art project. As a first step towards this, a workshop was set up in July 2012 by the Japanese artist Kinya Maruyama with the architect Sophie Ricard, to make a meeting point, picnic spot, garden, bowling pitch and a viewpoint.
Kinya Maruyama is a Japanese architect and landscape designer who has a special interest for people and the environment. Born in 1939, he was a pupil of Takamasa Yoshisaka, professor of architecture and pioneer of Japanese modernism. In 1969, he created the Mobile workshop and is one of the founding members of Zoo Team, a cooperative of architectural agencies that share a similar approach and work collectively and have ecological concerns as regards the materials they use and building techniques. Working together on projects, these teams pay particular attention to context, the environment, everyday habits and tradition.