LILA 2024 — Call for entries now open!

 “Tra i Petri”


designed by /



Location: France / Type: Cultural Heritage / Installations / Built: 2023 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on March 6, 2024

After occupying the place for 500 years, the military recently left and the citadel became an urban place, a new district of Ajaccio. It is now in the process of mutating and “activating”. The work “Tra i petri” participates in this.

Contemporary art for heritage – The Miollis citadel of Ajaccio is a monument-site, an “earthwork”. Its geometry is optically in tune with the large landscape. The work “Tra i petri” is a landscape sculpture, a contemporary intervention which awakens a sleeping historical architecture. The work “Tra i petri” contributes to the mutation of the monument-site by updating its primary function: watching the horizon and the landscape. The work plays with aiming points and approach sequences.

Light, the intangible material of the work – “Tra i petri” abolishes grouting. The stones of the wall are separated, they seem to float in the air. We see through it. The work weakens the opacity of the walls. It instills the lights of the Mediterranean into the interstices, and in doing so, gives the image of a more porous citadel, open to change. The chicane becomes a magic box, the light from the sky infiltrates the scarp, the blue of the sea circulates between the stones.

A tailor-made creation

The installation is made up of several mirror-polished stainless steel sheet modules, cut to measure in the shape of the original joints. These steel fragments are scattered on the wall surrounding the pedestrian entrance as well as on the facade facing the horizon. Designed in perfect symbiosis with the matrix of the architectural equipment, this cover designed directly on the body of the building, sets the pink granite stone as one would set a precious stone. And isn’t it, after all, precious? This stone with which the history of Ajaccio was built, impregnated with Mediterranean foam, the blood of combatants and the footsteps of sentinels. The work encourages us to take a new look at the citadel. Attracted by the sparkle of the mirrors, the eye settles on the works of matched stones which become fascinating interlacings of colors and lights, changing according to the atmospheric perspective.

Ornament, armor acting under the protection of the sky, luminous breakthrough through the ramparts, opening to the world, Tra I Petri also invites us to look at ourselves, islanders, as a people and as a culture. The ancient joints which have forged the island’s history are suddenly magnified, brought back to center stage and each stone is distinguished. It is no longer a wall that isolates, it is a wall that unites. With its organic form, Gilles Brusset’s work on the Citadel Miollis suggests that its progression is ongoing, as if it still had to develop to conquer all the available land. As if we were still at the beginning, in the timid adolescence of this awakening and this opening towards the Mediterranean world. A delicate and sensitive intervention, it nevertheless underlines that this building with its eternal authority, which seems not to have moved for centuries, is nevertheless already no longer quite the same.

Prisca Meslier & Dumè Marcellesi, Exhibition curators

Project Data

Landscape architecture: paysarchitectures

Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Marc Blume, sculptor

Project location: Ajaccio, France

Year completed: 2023

Photo crédits: Pierre-Yves Brunaud

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Products by Maglin