La 25ème heure,

Eugénie Palau

La 25ème heure is a festive and ephemeral architecture device questioning our way of partying in our modern lives. It is a journey through stories, machines and time.

Between ‘before’ and ‘after’, the party has gone beyond all limits, won by the day and its consumerist logic. The party suffers from its image and its representations, further aggravated by recent history. Mixing architecture, interior design and furniture design with sound, light, fashion and graphic design, festive architectures are defined as a gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork in german). It is a specific architectural territory. A strong architectural ideology that can no longer be reduced to a black cube. We have to question what makes the party and the architect has to seize these issues.

«These are not exact solutions to concrete problems but rather hypotheses that question what architecture is» said Aldo Rossi (about ephemeral architectures). Let’s make a laboratory of this specific field of architecture that frees itself from many borders. More than a frivolous subject, how we party even teaches us about cities layout. More than the trio: dancing, drinking, and smoking, partying it is ‘to live more’.

La 25ème heure is the postulate of a party that must be externalized to follow human mutations.

It is a search for festive intensity through ephemerality that is embodied in mobility and nomadism. It is because we know that we do not remain in this place, that we transcend our ways of living. We live intensely. Nomadism becomes an alternative spatial regime.

Ephemeral party has always been invented in the context of society’s spatial rejects. They take place in places that we don’t know what to do with: disused hangars or fallow suburban fields.

Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, sang all about the new machines that were slowly influencing our modern lives in the 70’s, including the motorway. Thousands kilometres asphalt motorways are traces of a globalisation that no longer inspires dreams. They are the scars of a free trade system that is being called into question by many factors. Although criticised, they remain irreducible in our world of free trade. This raises the question of how to revive this heritage. La 25ème heure questions these 70’s aesthetics and infrastructures by proposing a nomadic festive device made of trucks and ephemeral pavillons taking place every night in a new motorway service area.

The truck becomes an obvious platform. Multiple imaginary worlds link it to the notion of celebration (carnival, circus, funfair, Spiral Tribe,…). The truck, as much a reference to the primary definitions of the party, as a symbol of the city that never sleeps, becomes a platform for incarnations of the fantasies of the party. These deployable architectures reappropriate the codes, machines and artifacts of the electronic party and question the body’s postures, self-combustion tendencies and human relationships.

If the party celebrates the combustible side of time, then La 25ème heure proposes to push the dial back by an hour.


Author: Eugénie Palau.
Location: Somewhere on the French Highways, France.
Year: 2022