Design study trip to Paris


Walking the city taking in the new and the old: contemporary ceramics by Ursula Morley at Galerie Helen Poree (, medieval art at Musee de Cluny, exciting architecture of the Institut du Monde Arabe, riverside sculpture park and winding public gardens (Quai St Bernard) and the Parc de Bercy.

Parc de Bercy with its long avenues, arbours, grids, box edged beds and tucked away seating is set beneath a vast canopy of semi mature trees.  Relying on structure rather than flowers (at this time of year anyway) it is a fully used public space.  Of the three big scale water interventions none were functional highlighting the cost and maintenance needs of such creations.  I understand that the Parc Andre Citroen has suffered a similar fate (although it is currently undergoing major restoration and refurbishment).  Indeed there were signs of decay already showing around Parc de  Bercy including the stone pergola; the pillars of which appear to be stone clad rather than solid stone, with this building technique showing signs of failure one wonders about the life expectancy of such big budget gardens and the potential disappointment of its users (including those who have seen the glitzy pictures and travelled to experience it).  I am looking forward to exploring London’s Olympic Parc which is centred around a natural water feature, the river Lea.