NAMAZU, TECTONIC CONCRETE

Facades with graphic lines 


Namazu, séisme en béton

Shock wave

It’s in the heart of Vulcania, the volcanic amusement park in Auvergne, where the epicenter of its newest attraction, Namazu, can be found. Meaning seismic in Japanese, it is a large figure-eight roller coaster which will circulate at high speed amidst a chaotic decor of artificial rocks with graphic strata and tectonic fractures. 

Hired by AZ Decor, I was sent to work on the sculpture of the styled-facades alongside the team already on-site. In the middle of a “bougnat” winter, it was in the freezing cold and under thick snow that the majority of this catastrophic project unfolded. The climatic circumstances mirrored the theme of the project.

Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton

graphic lines

This artificial fault-line, imagined by Julien Berthevas, was composed of different facades collapsing on one another around a principal fault centered in the axis of the roller coaster rails. Hired to design and style the rocks to the beyond the boundaries of natural esthetics, I needed several days of research and experimentations to arrive at the intended goal, more graphic with taught lines with a slightly raised texture. Inclined in the same direction, the different strata accentuated the speed effect of the rider propelled in their car. The misalignment created by different depths and a change in perspective within the wall equally helped to enhance the decor and reinforced the impression of collapsing walls in the organized chaos of the ride. 

Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton

It’s winter, the trees are naked.

Jules Renard

Styled boulders

The end result, as specified by the client, was to have a balance between classic boulders and certain minimalistic, quasi graphic ones, in order to give an aesthetic mix between natural and industrial design. Accustomed to boulders with fractured lines and varied textures, this work was a new challenge, and at the same time a step away from the conventional concrete-sculpting industry. I took it as an invitation to liberate myself from a routine (an exaggeration, I know), of a traditional artificial boulder and bring concrete to “another level”; semi-architectural, semi-design. It’s always a good idea and good practice for the sculptor to diversify the production and his intentions. 

Unfortunately absent for the end of the project, I entrusted the strata and lines in the hands of my dear colleagues in the center of snowy Namazu. 

Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton
Namazu, séisme en béton

type

client

technic

year

sculpture

AZ Décor

shotcrete

2020 /2021

Les articles autour du projet

Containers, squelette géant de serpent, coiffe style empire de Monumenta Empire oeuvre de l'artiste Huang Yong Ping

Craft or Art

Not long ago, I was interviewed at the Gare de Nantes by a local journalist. The journalist asked me how to best describe my contribution to the concrete tree sculpture; as an artist or an artisan? Normally, this type of question would have left me speechless, had I not thankfully prepared a very polite, very vague answer:

“we are a bit of both”

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