Technical sheet of this architecture video clip
Journalist : Emma C. Dessouroux
Cameramen : Didier Minne, Geoffroy Minne / Kinoflight

Editing : Emma C. Dessouroux / Cristina Dias
Direction : Emma C. Dessouroux
Production : Les Délires Productions

Translation : Strakermedia – Comtrans
Rereading : Serge Ryckoort / Emelire
Subtitles : Les Délires Productions

Speaker : Véronique Descharrières, Architect, Bernard Tschumi Urbanistes Architectes

English Subtitles

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I like diversity in architecture,

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but above all,
I like the powerful expression

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of urban density,

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the cultural expression that it can lend

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to different cities where one uses it.

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I don’t think you can define architecture,

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because actually, our profession leads us
down many paths,

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to many processes, meetings,
and different projects.

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What interests me in architecture

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is that diversity, that experimentation.

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Indeed, I have to say,

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I’ve been fortunate to work
at different levels,

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in different contexts,

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with different organisations,

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which is why I have my own set-up

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and I also work with the agency
Bernard Tschumi Urbanistes Architectes.

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We work on both
public and private projects,

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which really allow us

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to develop concepts and processes

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which are specific each time.

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There is no standardisation
in architecture.

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On the contrary,
it really allows us to see

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an intellectual process at play,

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according to the evolution

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of our societies, and it really emerges

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as a precise set of answers.

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Your visit won’t be the same
from one day to the next.

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I was awarded
the Prize of Women Architects

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for the original work
at the Paris Zoological Park in 2015.

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It’s a protected conservation site,

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listed as part of French heritage.

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Above all, this exceptional programme

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at the zoo, makes us think

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about the coexistence and well-being
of animals in the urban context.

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It consisted of installing five biozones,

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each corresponding to the habitats

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that each animal species
normally inhabits.

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A Sahel-Sudan plain,
for example, Madagascar,

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and also areas for Guyana, for Patagonia.

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So it was about melding together

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the animal’s typical environment,

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with all the public areas to be installed

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within these environmental surroundings.

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We installed over 30,000 square metres
of constructed spaces,

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all done in a symbiotic way,

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in other words, fusing together

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architecture with living spaces.

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Indeed, at the entrance,

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we see the idea of symbiotic coverings,

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like big metallic structures
with metal mesh,

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which can permanently contain
fauna and flora,

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creating a kind of giant arbour,

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covering 3,000 square metres
with a giant arbour where

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plants, birds, insects…

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can come and hide away
and be part of that shelter,

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which is also a welcome area for visitors,

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in which we find
all the standard practical features

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of a public park.

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I can’t see.

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If I could swim in the water…

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To have as much contact as possible
with the animal areas, their habitats,

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and to bring the visitors
as close as possible to the animals,

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we worked on what are called,
in zoological language, the enclosures.

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But on the contrary, what we worked on…

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installing, or really, staging

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large viewing bays.

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In fact, we installed big glass panels,

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about six metres wide
and three metres high,

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which allow visitors
to get as close as possible

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to the animals, like lions, and jaguars,

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obviously without being in danger

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on either side of the glass panels.

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Look up there, the meat!

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And Harry Potter
makes the glass disappear!

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Here you have the presentation,
the giraffe house in all its majesty.

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So, yes, the giraffe house is
kind of the central point

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within the Sahel-Sudan plain.

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You’re at the foot of a big rock,

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then out of nowhere,
there’s a big structure

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which is about 12 metres high,

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which is covered in murals
from Sahel-Sudan.

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We really tried to create
a kind of vast plain.

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We have about four hectares in this part,

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and the giraffes,
which is the biggest herd

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in Europe

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can be seen there, in all their majesty,

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with these huge spaces, which they share,

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because there is a biodiversity,
so a mix of animals.

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They share with kudus,
ostriches, which we can see,

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and all this leads them
to the watering holes,

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where they come to drink in the evenings
at the foot of the big rock.

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The zoo experience,

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which was really very intense,

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over seven years
of in-depth work and studies,

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and interactions
with scientists of all kinds,

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has really changed my view
of architecture somewhat,

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which up until that point,

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had been a view of seeking
to produce objects

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that may be a bit rigid or limited.

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But suddenly with the zoo,

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I kind of entered into a vision
of living architecture,

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how to build something alive,

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how to build sequences that will last,

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and will also be transformed

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and perhaps come alive in a different way

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according to the inhabitants or tenants,

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meaning the giraffes or the kudus,

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or even the lions or the jaguars,

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the tenants who will live in
and populate these spaces.

French Subtitles

1
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Dans l’architecture, j’aime la diversité,

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mais surtout, j’aime l’expression forte

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de la densité urbaine,

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de l’expression culturelle finalement,
qu’elle peut traduire

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dans les différentes villes
que l’on peut pratiquer.

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Je pense qu’on ne peut pas
décrire une architecture,

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parce qu’en fait
notre profession nous amène

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à toute une série de parcours,

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de démarches, de rencontres
et de projets différents.

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Et moi, ce qui m’intéresse
dans l’architecture,

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c’est justement la diversité,
l’expérimentation.

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Je dois dire qu’effectivement,

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j’ai eu la chance de pouvoir travailler
sur différentes échelles,

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dans différents contextes,

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avec différentes organisations,

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et c’est aussi pourquoi,
j’ai une structure propre

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00:00:56,960 –> 00:01:00,840
et je travaille aussi avec l’agence
Bernard Tschumi Urbanistes et Architectes.

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On travaille sur des projets
soit publics, soit privés,

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mais vraiment qui peuvent nous permettre

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de développer
des concepts et des démarches

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tout à fait spécifiques à chaque fois.

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Il n’y a pas de standardisation
dans l’architecture.

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Je crois, qu’au contraire,
ça nous permet vraiment de voir

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une démarche intellectuelle qui se pose,

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et aussi en fonction de l’évolution

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de nos sociétés, qui se pose effectivement

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comme des réponses tout à fait précises.

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La visite que vous faites ne sera pas
la même du jour au lendemain.

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J’ai eu la chance de recevoir
le prix des Femmes Architectes

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pour l’œuvre originale
du parc zoologique de Paris en 2015.

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C’est un site préservé, protégé

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et inscrit au patrimoine
des sites français.

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Et surtout,
ce programme tout à fait exceptionnel

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de parc zoologique nous amène à réfléchir

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à la cohabitation et au bien-être
animalier dans un espace urbain.

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Il s’agissait de pouvoir installer
cinq biozones

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qui correspondent
aux espaces dans lesquels

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chaque espèce animalière
a l’habitude de se retrouver.

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Une plaine du Sahel Soudan,
par exemple, Madagascar,

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des espaces pour aussi la Guyane,
pour la Patagonie,

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Donc, il s’agissait d’associer

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un environnement type pour les animaux

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avec, aussi, tout le parcours public
qu’il s’agit d’installer

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et d’instiller à l’intérieur
de ces milieux environnementaux.

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On a installé plus de 30.000 m²
d’espaces construits,

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mais tout ça dans une conception
de symbiose,

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c’est-à-dire de marier

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l’architecture avec les espaces vivants.

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Donc, effectivement sur l’entrée,

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le principe des enveloppes symbiotiques,
c’est-à-dire

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des grandes structures métalliques
avec des mailles métalliques

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qui permettent d’accueillir de la faune
et de la flore à demeure,

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crée une treille gigantesque.

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Pratiquement, on couvre 3.000 m²
de treille gigantesque dans laquelle

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soit les plantations,
les oiseaux, les insectes…

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peuvent venir se fondre
et se mêler finalement à cet accueil,

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cet espace d’accueil pour les visiteurs

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dans lequel on retrouve
toutes les fonctionnalités habituelles

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d’un parc public.

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On voit pas.

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Ah, ben si je nageais dans l’eau !

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Pour être en contact maximum
avec l’espace de l’animal,

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son lieu d’habitat,

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et pour amener le visiteur
à être au plus proche de ces animaux,

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on a travaillé sur ce qu’on appelle
en langue zoologique des contentions,

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mais là, il s’agissait au
contraire de travailler sur…

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de mettre en place,
de mettre en scène finalement

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des grandes baies de vision.

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C’est-à-dire qu’on a des panneaux de verre

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d’environ six mètres de large
sur trois mètres de haut

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et qui permettent aux visiteurs
de s’approcher au plus près possible

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des espaces animaliers,
notamment des lions, des jaguars,

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sans être évidemment en danger

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ni d’un côté ni de l’autre
de la partie vitrée.

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Ah, t’as vu, là-haut, la viande !

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Harry Potter fait disparaître la vitre !

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Vous avez vraiment la présentation,
la maison des girafes en majesté.

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Alors, oui, la maison des girafes
est un peu, vraiment, un endroit central

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à l’intérieur de la plaine Sahel Soudan,

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d’ailleurs, on est au pied du grand rocher

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et là, tout d’un coup,
cette grande bâtisse

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qui fait à peu près 12 mètres de haut,

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qui est toujours enveloppée tout comme
l’ensemble des reliefs du Sahel Soudan,

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on a vraiment essayé de créer
une espèce de plaine assez vaste,

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on a à peu près quatre hectares
à cet endroit-là du parc

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et les girafes, qui est le plus grand
groupe européen de giraffidés

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sur un sol européen,

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se retrouvent là,
effectivement, en majesté,

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avec de grands espaces,
qu’ils partagent d’ailleurs

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parce qu’il s’agit aussi
d’une biodiversité,

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donc d’une mixité animalière,

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qu’ils partagent donc avec des coudous,
avec des autruches, on aura pu les voir,

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et puis tout ça les emmène
vers des plans d’eau

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qui permettent le soir de venir s’abreuver
au pied du grand rocher.

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L’expérience du parc zoologique

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qui a été vraiment
quelque chose d’intense,

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sur sept années de travail
en profondeur, d’études,

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comment dire, d’échanges
avec des scientifiques de tous horizons

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ont sans doute un peu changé
ma vision de l’architecture

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qui était jusqu’à ce stade-là

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une vision où on compterait
sur une production d’objets, je dirais,

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peut-être figés, peut-être finis,

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et là, avec ce parc, tout d’un coup,

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je pense que je suis rentrée
dans une vision d’une architecture vivante

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donc, comment construire ce vivant,

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comment construire des séquences
qui vont perdurer,

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qui vont aussi se transformer

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et qui vont vivre peut-être
de manière différente

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suivant les habitants et les locataires

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pour parler des girafes ou des coudous

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ou encore des lions et des jaguars,

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des locataires qui vont habiter
et peupler ces espaces.