Fictions as Practice

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Echigo-Tsumari, Japan
Architect: R&Sie(n)… Paris
(name of the agency at this time : R&Sie.D/B:L)
Creative team: François Roche, Stephanie Lavaux, Alexandre Boulin, Olivier Legrand, Gilles Desevedavy; Collaborators: Benoît Durandin, Etienne Feher, David Topanni
Key dimensions: 2,100 m2
Client : Art Front Gallery / Tokyo


Creation of a tourist centre on the Shinano River, for the Art Necklace

Project (restaurant, hotel, hot baths, fish breeding)


1) Digitization of the released water and wave through the riverbed

(coming from the existing dam).

2) Manipulation of the wave image to generate the facilities

3) Production of natural steam indoors and outdoors.

4) Introduction of an ecological loop between food waste, fish,

hydroponics and dishes...


When it comes to this territory which is simultaneously natural and industrial, created by the domestication of the river and its use for hydroelectric production, the margin for manoeuvre is limited.

Any reconstitution of unspoiled nature would be grotesquely picturesque and contradict the scale of these structures. Likewise, any purely technical attempt to deal with the problem would mean the definitive ruining of the last landscape sequences. Historically this riverbed was created by overflowing waters and the depositing of the fluvial alluvia they carried. All that remains of these periodic floods are the waves and ripples produced by the occasional releases of a small amount of water by the hydroelectric dam.

This design was based on digitised images of these overflows, so that the structures were generated by that turbulence.

The waves that run through the riverbed carry pebbles, which also overflow as they are carried along and spread.