Photos by Joep Jacobs and Boudewijn Bollmann
Paris 2024 is set to become the first Green Games with an innovatively eco-friendly Olympic village. The Saint-Denis neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris will host the village around which the eco Olympic ethos gravitates. The entire district will be rehabilitated with businesses, schools and sports centers, and a construction mass of roughly 100,000 m² of newly constructed buildings. This build programme involves actors including architects, developers, urban planners, and construction companies, whose role is to deliver a ‘green’ neighbourhood with a range of forty sustainable projects.
Leo Orta has selected three key players involved in the construction project: Dominique Perrault Architecture (DPA), the engineering company Eiffage, and the sand extractor CEMEX. Presented standing on an Olympic podium, they take on the role of pawns in the construction of the village’s infrastructure; from the design and choice of materials, to the promotion and building, whilst encouraging the extraction of natural resources such as the transformation of stones into sand.
In Building Relay, the life cycle of sand mirrors the iconic shape of the Olympic Five Rings. Each ring is a phase in the sand cycle, from extraction, to construction, and deconstruction, to recycling, including the transformation of sand into the concrete. This presentation gives the visitor a glimpse of the sand’s entire course during the construction of the Olympic infrastructures. While individually the five sculptures materialise the process and the use of sand in Westerns cities, the whole exhibition aims to question the controversial lifespan of this resource. In this mindset, sand acquires a different value for the different entities, professions and companies which build our city highlighting the responsibility which national market forces can play in safeguarding a finite, diminishing global resource.
Thanks to: Dominique Perrault Architecture, Cemex Extraction, Alexandre Huvey
Leo Orta lives and works between Paris and Les Moulins, France, in a large variety of media including sculpture, installation, and performance. He developed his career from the beginning of his education at the Design Academy Eindhoven, very quickly forming the duo OrtaMiklos in 2015. Their work blurs the boundaries between art and design by including performative elements. Leoʼs individual work focuses on the social links that human beings establish with identity through consumption and personal relation to nature.