Couleurs sur la plage
AN ALGORITHM GENERATED FROM THE FOUNDING CHARTER OF THE CITY USED TO COLOUR OVER 500 BEACH CABINS
Permanent work of artCoastline tour
Within the frame of the local graphic design festival Une Saison Graphique 2017, designer Karel Martens was invited to imagine a creation using the 700 beach cabins situated on Le Havre beach.
Each year, after a wintering period, the cabins start appearing on the beach with the promise of sunnier and more entertaining days. This local tradition dates back to the 19th century, when Le Havre was renown throughout Europe as a seaside resort and destination of choice for « sea bathers ». Since very few vestiges from this glorious past remain, the « beach cabins » are definitely parts of the local heritage. They are passed down from generation to generation by the « cabinists ». Since the 1950s, they have all been standardised and painted white. The challenge facing Karel Martens was therefore to colour them harmoniously.
Karel Martens is a mathematics enthusiast. He imagined an original process to assign a unique design to each cabin. After choosing 10 colours and 6 different widths for the stripes, the designer asked for the help of Faironnerie ABC, a digital manufacturing laboratory of the University of Normandy. In order to reduce the number of possible combinations, the team established, by digital coding, that they should be applied according to the decree related to the foundation of the city and port of Le Havre, issued by King Francis I in 1517. A nod to the celebration of the city's 500th anniversary.
* Colours on the Beach
Le Havre beach promenade