L'écume des jours
Members of the hospital staff of the Hôpital Nord, in Marseille, commissioned the artist Didier Faustino to highlight the hospital's architecture and highlight its role as an urban signal and major medical center.
In 2010, Didier Faustino, one of the most renowned artists and architects of his generation, was invited by hospital staff to design a work for the facade and hall of the main entrance of the North Hospital of Marseille. Their approach expresses both the desire and the need to update the image of this hospital in line with its skills and its new state-of-the-art medical equipment and to promote the notion of hospitality both at the district and city level. Its architecture, an imposing rough concrete bar typical of the 1960s, reflects its geographical location in the heart of the working class districts. For the people of Marseille, it is more reminiscent of the era of large low-income housing projects than of the chance to have access to high-level hospital equipment. The construction in 1997 of the Mediterranean Pavilion and in 2009 of the Pavilion of the Star did not replace the original Mistral building. The bar built by Mr. Egger will remain the image of the North Hospital in our memories and for the future. The main objective of this order is to update the image of the North Hospital, highlighting both its role as an imposing urban signal and as a major medical center.
Inspired by the title of Boris Vian's book, and echoing the nearby Mediterranean, L'Ecume des jours embodies an idea that is both bold and attentive to its context. Indeed, Didier Faustino proposes to place on the facade of the building an ethereal and fragile form, in the image of the foam that the surf of the waves would have left in its path. Without ever depriving the interior spaces of light, L'Ecume des jours draws a vaporous and indeterminate whole, crystallizes an ephemeral organic formation. The work thus perches itself as a contemporary poetic sign that invests as much as it dialogues with the geometry of René Egger's architecture. The composition, which is the result of a combination of three modules, is displayed on the upper part of the building, as if to better highlight its imposing sign and its role as an urban landmark and medical reference.
In turn radical, denunciatory and cynical, or utopian and idealistic, Didier Faustino's polymorphic works explore in a new light the usual and the everyday, revealing the models at work under the acceptance of the common, and push the observed trends to their limits. Each of Didier Faustino's new "architectural misadventures" (as the name of his agency suggests with humour) is approached in the newest possible way, without confidence, and on the experimental side. The architect and artist likes to establish and/or reveal in the social, political, physical and mental spaces with which he is confronted, a fragility capable of generating new situations, of opening up possibilities.