Le banc de sable
The story of the new Place François Moisson, which was inaugurated in 2010, begins in 2005, when teachers from the school group decided to offer an "urban reading" workshop to third grade pupils. The objective was to bring children to an understanding of citizenship and the sharing of public space, taking as an example the place in front of their school. The students thus carried out a real diagnosis of the place : attendance, travel, vegetation, but also uses and behaviours. This observation was in line with that of the adults : the square was in great need of being adapted to the life of the school and the neighbourhood. Determined to invest in improving their daily environment, school staff and local residents commissioned a work of art so that the reflection initiated by the children could become a real project.
The artist's proposal, the Sand Bank, takes into account the expectations expressed by the patrons, while providing a simple and playful response, just like a river and its shoreline. This transformation of the square makes it possible to make traffic flow more smoothly and to ensure that the various uses coexist harmoniously. More precisely, Olivier Bedu has installed a slightly elevated platform as the main area. Punctuated by three coloured concrete islands, real anchor points on the square, it hosts static activities (sitting, waiting, discussing, playing) and facilitates the microcirculation of children, canteen-school trips etc.. The other part of the square where the old granite covering has been preserved shows a contiguous path, following the surroundings of the platform. This clearer and more urban route is naturally used by residents and walkers for their inter-district journeys.
Olivier Bedu is a DPLG architect and works in Marseille. It reflects on urban policy, the rehabilitation of large urban areas and the enhancement of the city as a place of identity and sharing.