Technological Estuary: Submarines base, Lorient

The reconversion of the base for Lorient submarines contributes to the restoration of the site’s original configuration as an estuary.
Allowing the natural advance of water over the land, not only accompanies the ebb and flow of tides, but also makes them the foundation of a new conceptual construct of and by the project.

An extended infrastructure not used for industrial purposes anymore, becomes a surprisingly rich aquatic topography. Interspersed among the lagoons, several bunkers form strange “archipelagos.”
The indestructible structures built long ago of concrete by their German authors acquire some sort of odd geological qualities, appearing like small islands half-submerged into the waters.

Invaded by exuberant vegetation, those new islands integrate into the “new land” networks of services that through a myriad inter-connection transform the estuary into a thriving Technology Complex.
Thus, the project for re-converting an abandoned skeleton is metamorphosed into the creation of a “New Nature.” A new re-created landscape appears, offering the necessary conditions to enable the continuous processes of mutation.

When the virtual surfing of the electronic pathways is coupled with the material navigation of a port, when the receptive space newly created attracts towards itself a concentrated cyberspace, the project allowing a new cognitive economy starts to make its appearance.
A set of vanished territories is materialized anew.


Arnoldo Rivkin, Jamil Mehdaoui

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