V-OLZ: To respond to the need of affordable housing on its limited territory, the Canton of Geneva plans a densification of its still agricultural fringes and questions the preservation of agriculture in this intricate condition. In this context the festival ‘Ville et Champs’ examines the cohabitation between city and countryside.
The installation ‘Champ de bière’ places a common consumer good in its centre: beer, a beverage promoting conviviality and social exchanges. The project site is located near Confignon, at the crossroads of the urban expansion of the Genevese conurbations and the city’s agricultural belt. ‘Champ de bière’ reveals the landscapes associated with the production process of this highly consumed product, appropriate to the staging of a festival. From production to consumption, these landscapes are nested one inside the other. The festivals itinerary route traverses the field providing visitors with a cross sectional view of the cultivation and production process. Central to the site a micro-brewery sits comfortably in a meadow, the meadow is framed by the hop yard structure, the hopyard encompassed by the field of barley, the barley field, one in a cultivated territory, between city and countryside.
The project takes up the language and elements of agricultural installations. The hop yard structure traditionally consists of wooden poles and steel cables but is set up on a square grid. The micro-brewery is build out of only two different timber profiles and covered with corrugated iron.
Central to the program is the creation of the association ABAG ‘Les Brasseurs Artisans de Genève’. This collective of local brewers have been brought together through the ‘champ de bière’ program and will continue to unite, support and promote locale brewing in the region after the conclusion of the festival. The ABAG brewers animated the micro brewery throughout the summer season, tasting, sharing their knowledge and experimenting their own personal recipes and brewing techniques on site.
After 30 varieties of beer brewed on site and great popular success, this experience opened project perspectives to create attractive spaces on the agricultural fringes, based on the essence of the place rather than a transpositin of a type associated with urban core areas.
Genève Ville & Champs: Cultural and landscape festival
Winning entry 2013 – realisation 2014
Contracting authority: l’Office d’urbanisme du canton de Genève / l’Association « Genève, Villes en culture(s)
Design: V-OLZ (Boris Vapné, Robert Helmholz) – Architects Urbanists, Etienne Haller, Elinor Scarth – Landscape architects, Simon Boudvin – Artist,
With the help of: Mathias Moonca, Seul-gi Lee, Mar Armengol, Alienor Heil Selimanovski
Site: 1,8 ha
Location: Confignon, Geneva, CH