Developing a substantial commercial offer in a theme park is not a new idea. Examples include Universal Studios in the United States and Eurodisney in France, but the originality of the project we developed for Futuroscope is to be found in the fact that the architectural concept consolidates the park’s identity by providing a playful expression of the future. Shapes, colours, urban furniture, the canal and its river shuttles are all surprising elements in a lively, futuristic project based more on graphic design and art than on the history of architecture. Although the project was abandoned, we still have an opportunity to admire the very different, but eminently poetic images created by two artists, Patrice Rialland and Frédéric Terreaux. The images reveal the power of the kind of draftsmanship that we tend too often, nowadays, to ignore. The futuristic project prompts us to ask questions about the characteristics of the architecture of the future. This recurrent theme in the history of art is the source of three very different creative approaches, namely designing a kind of ideal city based on Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) or the “macro-architectures” developed by Le Corbusier in his Voisin Plan for Paris (1925); the nostalgia for a “Paradise Lost” expressed in the art of gardens, illustrated theoretically by Ebenezer Howard in Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1902); and, lastly, the quest for the future, or, in other words, the formal research associated with Science Fiction, the foundations of which are essentially technological (for example, the American, Buckminster Fuller, and the British group, Archigram). This last, approach to the future of architecture is truly multi-faceted, since it does not rely on a single paradigm. George Lucas’ Star Wars series, the backdrops for which range from Mediterranean architectures featuring earthwork cupolas to pompous, neo-classical skyscrapers, all of them informed by a “spaceship” aesthetic, provide an eloquent example. It is this kind of approach that we incorporated into our Futuroscope project.
Commercial outlets and leisure facilities