Hotels, swimming costumes, manmade islands, the Costa Brava, Monte-Carlo... everyone get to the beach!
Everyone loves a trip to the beach – from health-conscious aristocrats in search of an ice-cold dip in the sea to bank holiday sun-seekers, their bronzed, sculpted bodies proudly on display. And he Cité de l’Architecture is tracing the history of seaside towns through a rich exhibition comprising more than four hundred installations and documents. Swimsuits, photos, posters, movies, maps, sketches, models and plans for beach-based architectural dreams tell the story of European and North American beaches.
From the 1730s to the years ahead (the future holds a wealth of wild seaside projects) we’re taken through the different social, environmental, demographic and economic problems caused by such developments – from the easy, nomadic, autonomous existence of the 1970s (think campsites and caravans) to 2010, where money reigns supreme and rich states expand their land without a single thought as to the durability of their developments.
This dense and chronological – yet elegant – exhibition cleverly links seaside architecture to its context, the final section focusing mainly on the future of these complex territories, offering an accurate insight into the environmental policies and scientific inventions that could potentially solve many of the problems in beach development – Vincent Callebaut’s Lilypad, for example: a floating city that could shelter 50,000 people living self-sufficiently.
TRANSLATION: LEONIE CATER