Martigues - Tétrodon
- department: Bouches-du-Rhône
- commune: Martigues
- name: Tetrodon
- address: Tholon Beach
- authors: Jacques BERCE, Annie TRIBEL-HEINZ, Henri CIRIANI (AUA agency)
- date: 1972
- labelling: 3 July 2012
The Tetrodon, named after the famous trunk fish, is the result of a reflection on a mobile habitat around a container structure itself dedicated to transport.
Jacques Berce and Henri Ciriani will seek to amplify the base volume of the container by adding functional modules in the form of double polyester shells insulated with polyurethane foam. Attached to the walls between rails and metal uprights, the hulls are dedicated to specific activities: sleep, meals, kitchen, sanitary. The central space remains free, articulating the space served from the shells to the space serving the container; here the authors borrow from the functional principles redefined by Louis Kahn at this period.
In 1971, a prototype of Tétrodon, made by the Barbot Group, is exhibited in the courtyard of the Louvre. This was followed by the first order from Sonacotra, which installed a temporary home at the Mas de l'Audience in Fos-sur-Mer for the workers who were then building the SOLMER plant.
Subsequently, it is within the framework of the development of the Aquitaine coastline that the Tétrodon project, awarded during the sixth New Architecture Programme competition, will be implemented for the Claouey family holiday village. Two other projects will be carried out: a Holiday Centre in Iraq and a base for executives in Mururoa.
In a few years, the production of Tetrodon will reach a stage of series, but, in 1973, the tripling of the price of oil will stop net the economy of the projects related to the carbochemistry.
Rediscovered by chance in 2011, the Tetrodon of Fos-sur-Mer turned out to be an experimental module not developed thereafter. It is in the form of a thirty-foot container (10.83 m x 4.22 m), equipped with a sanitary hull, a kitchenette hull, three sleeping hulls, and four storage hulls, in addition to three glazed day doors and two flat panels: a sliding window and a solid panel.
The basic structure itself is used as an assembly element thanks to the famous characteristic corner pieces of the containers that allow simple panels or docking to a parent structure, as imagined by Peter Cook for the Plug in City project in 1969.
Thus, in addition to the standardized structure of the container, the modular spaces of the shells sized for the functions they accommodate are added. A real design work will be done on the various shells, like the productions of Jo Colombo such as the Total Furnishing Unit (1971), between furniture and architecture, which offers a global response to the needs of the individual: bathroom cell, kitchen cell, night cell and central unit. Jacques Berce works with Annie Tribel for the layout design: Pirelli laminated floor, laminated cupboard doors, hanging shelves, equipped kitchenette block, with its roll-up curtain, sanitary with washbasin, shower, double fluid distribution partitions, soap dish, towel rack, shelves. The doors of the toilets are on the model of the cabins of ships. Finally a whole interior world is designed with great attention. Agnès Delmotte, the wife of Jacques Berce, chooses the fabrics of the operation at Quentin d'Hellemmes.
At the initiative of the association Through this passage, infranchi, the Tetrodon was restored by the architect Olivier Bedu, transported to the territory of the City of Martigues and acquired by the latter.
DRAC PACA 2019
Sources: Fichaffiche CAUE 13, text by Thierry Durousseau