IN 1997 I read about a park in Paris donated by the Citroen foundation. Luckily I had a son and two grandsons who were exactly the ages to see such wonders. So we booked, sailed the channel and crossed the summer fields of la belle France by train.
Parc Citreon is pres le Tour Eiffel so we did both spectacular sites on our first day, only stopping for food and wine at the best restaurants we could find.
Paris is also the home to La Villette designed by Bernard Tschumi, a French architect of Swiss origin, who built it from 1984 to 1987 in partnership with Colin Fournier, on the site of the huge Parisian abattoirs (slaughterhouses) and the national wholesale meat market, as part of an urban redevelopment project. The slaughterhouses, built in 1867 on the instructions of Napoléon III, had been cleared away and relocated in 1974. Tschumi won a major design competition in 1982–83 for the park, and he sought the opinions of the deconstructionist philosopher Jacques Derrida in the preparation of his design proposal.
Since the creation of the park, museums, concert halls, and theatres have been designed by several noted contemporary architects, including Christian de Portzamparc, Adrien Fainsilber, Philippe Chaix, Jean-Paul Morel, Gérard Chamayou,on to Mr. Tschumi. In the middle of the week we travelled on the Metro out to the sites of the former abbattoirs. Although it was all a bit scholarly its novelty enchanted us and later inspired my part in instigating Eureka! in Halifax, UK.
As Jo, Adam and Matt were encouraged to take in Geography, History, Geometry I thought our weekend treat, Parc Asterix, with its giant Obelix, golden goddesses and bronzed living statues would be relaxed and low key enough to take the pressure off! It was, and yet far enough away from the theme parks of Hollywood to feel like art. There were actual horses, actors, underwater swimmers and as a treat from the gods – Delice de Zeus – ice cream created to make Neapolitans seem dull!Jo, Adam and Matt now have projects of their own designed to amuse and entertain, and although I’m not employed by the Paris Tourist Board I’m open to offers!