The Friche de l’Escalette recycles the ruins of an old lead factory that worked from 1851 to 1925. An industrial heritage landmark, its superb natural site on the rugged coast south of Marseilles is now part of the Parc National des Calanques.

A modern and contemporary sculpture and lightweight architecture display for visits by small groups led by a guide is being laid out there. The itinerary salutes the vernacular cabanon – the holiday-weekender, and will cover the period running from Jean Prouvé to the plastic utopias of the 60s and 70s.

Since the site is under a conservation order, the sculpture and architecture park, a private initiative, will have minimum impact on the poetic dimension of the rocky coastal terrain.

It will evolve slowly with each summer, inviting a discerning public to follow its organic growth year by year.

Photo title page.

Old postcard showing ore being offloaded at the factory’s wharf and carried by hoppers up to storage bays on the high ground before being melted down to form ingots of lead and silver. Note the wide twin gable roof over the courtyard, no longer to be seen today.

Second and third photos following.

Aerial views of the Friche de l’Escalette, June 2015. The prototype of Prouvé’s Habitat Tropical for Cameroun is being refurbished in what was once the courtyard.

Photo 1 © DR. - Photos 2 et 3 © Martin BRETIGNIERE et Fabien REVEST. Archives Galerie 54, Paris - Photos 4 et 5 © C. Baraja – E. Touchaleaume. Archives Galerie 54, Paris.

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