Client: Société Publique de l’agglomération Dunkerquoise
Status: Shortlisted competition
Program: Urban scenario
Scope: Urban revitalization and social activation of Salengro Square in the historical centre of Dunkerque.
The idea of the BIG TABLE, developed for the competition Mise en place d’un Scenario Urbain, Placette Salengro, is an added value to the existing project for the urban requalification of Dunkerque’s city center through the activation of a living, mobile and playful urban “layer”.
It is a targeted intervention in the city center, where the BIG TABLE can produce a recognizable and identifiable intensification of urban life. Our idea is not a monumental intervention, since it respects the graceful proportion of Placette Salengro, the natural paths in the urban context and the historical presence of Saint Eloi Church with its annexe belfry. Taking a holistic approach, we analyzed the predominant cultural and sociological features of Dunkerque and proposed BIG TABLE as a permanent installation that introduces into the physical urban context some of the features of the famous carnival of Dunkerque, which is the main social and cultural manifestation of the city. The two main thematic features of the carnival that influenced our idea are:
Colors, creativity, transgression
To be applied to the daily and spontaneous practices, and especially to children’s activities. The Placette Salengro would become the best place to meet during shopping trips, or the perfect place to find a shelter under the umbrellas during an unexpected rainfall, or a place where you can let your children climb on the table, improvising a show for the public in the square. The BIG TABLE can be transformed into an object that everyone can use as a frame for urban picnics, for neighborhood meetings, or for temporary markets. It creates an urban living room, and also an open, available, comfortable, intense and playful space.
Urban dispersal and mobility
The BIG TABLE is combined with objects spread all over the urban area, called “confetti”, such as: chairs, birdhouses, garden “giants”, and many others icons to be invented with people to create a branded city identity. Occasionally these objects are taken by children and hidden in unconventional places in the public spaces: micro-gardens, docks, flowerpots, recesses, etc. When found, their QR codes can be scanned so that people can know the story of that object and update its migration path in an interactive map.