A banana-shaped building called "Le hamac" (hammock) or an owl-shaped structure called "les guetteurs" (watchman): Both sound like settings from a French children’s book. In Bordeaux, they’re just part of the scenery. Architect Frederic Latherrade and his firm Zebra3 are building a fantastical system of waystations around the countryside to encourage hiking and exploration, choosing locations in the middle of urban and rural landscapes that "stimulate the imagination and childhood memories."
Set to be completed in 2016 with 14 total stations, the system plays off the concept of Bruit du Frigo, according to Latherrade, small dwelling within the city limits to encourage short escapes. Each of these stations can be reserved for a short break, but beyond providing shelter, they lack any additional amenities. For a short escape, however, a quick stay in "La belle étoile" (a yellow, star-shaped shelter made of stainless steel and wood conceived by Sréphane Thidet) or "Le nuage" (a cloud-shaped structure built from plywood, plexiglas, glass fiber and reinforced plastic) seem like a peaceful way to leave the everyday behind.
All structures built by Zebra3, and all photos by Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux unless otherwise noted.
During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.