Mesure, démesure by Catherine MOSBACH – Château de Bénouville

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Mesure, démesure by Catherine MOSBACH – Château de Bénouville

From measure to immoderation

This presentation focuses on two projects of equally striking dimensions: the Louvre Lens museum and 20ha estate in northern France, currently undergoing completion, and the Phase Shift Park, a 70ha estate in Taiwan, construction of which begins early this year. Our work consists in developing tools for the implementation of ‘refuge’ areas in the familiar sense of the term, as well as areas that are under constant transformation, in the sense of the alteration of sites and beings. The aim is to create a vocabulary that is as sensitive to measure as it is open to all that is not yet known or set, in other words to movement. Measure is, by definition, attributable to standard, both in terms of conformity control as technically identified by a corporation, and in terms of determining the nomad processes that encompass time and space. Immoderation is attributable to all that is not yet clearly defined or more commonly referred to as made public. This notion equally applies to the amplitude of the effects that are explored in these sites as to the prospective nature that remains to be identified by what is commonly referred to as a public area. The notion of immoderation applies both to space and to time in the sense of continuous alteration offered to transformation-based scenographies.

 Catherine Mosbach


Graduated from the ENSP (National School of Landscape Architecture – Versailles) in 1986. With Marc Claramunt, Pascale Jacotot and Vincent Tricaud, she founded the Pages Paysages magazine and created her own workshop in Paris in 1987. She obtained a DEA (postgraduate diploma) in History and Civilisation at the EHESS in 1990. In 1994, she was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci bursary funded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for her research on the dialogue between architecture and landscape at the Herzog & de Meuron architects’ office in Basel. Among her many projects, we can note the archaeological park of Solutré in Saône-et-Loire (2001), the promenade along the Saint-Denis canal in Seine-Saint-Denis, the Bordeaux botanical garden (2003), the Rosa Barba European Landscape Prize, Barcelona, (2003), the ‘l’autre rive’ (the other bank) prototype garden in Quebec (2007), the Shan Shui prototype garden at the Xi’an China International Horticultural Exhibition, (2008), the Place de la République in Paris (2009), the Mediterranean promenade at the Fort Saint-Jean in Marseilles (2010), the Jade Ecopark Taichung in Taiwan (2011) and the Romanité museum in Nîmes (2012). The Taichung Park, which she developed in partnership with Philippe Rahm and RLA, now hosts a cultural centre designed by Sanaa and the 300 metre-high tower in Taiwan by Sou Foujimoto. In 2005, she won the Louvre-Lens competition along with Sanaa, the mandated architect, and Imrey Culbert. The park is currently under completion. In 2011, the same project was rewarded via the Emilio Ambasz Award for Green Architecture, Tel Aviv; in 2013  the Iconic Award in the project of the year category, German Design Council, Munich; it was an Icon Awards nominee in the project of the year category, Icon Magazine, London; won the Equerre d’Argent prize organised by the Moniteur Group, Paris, was among the Top 10 best projects of the Year, Azure Magazine, Toronto, winner of the 2014  T+L Design Awards and obtained an honourable mention for the museum of the year, New York. Catherine Mosbach regularly publishes articles and taught as an invited professor at the University of Pennsylvania (Graduate School of Fine Arts) from 2003 to 2006.