Rendez-vous with "InGRID"

Pending the elaboration of the master plan which should be implemented in 2013 and the results of a competition for the design of the major public areas between Entrance A and the St. Genis customs (along the Route de Meyrin), CERN and the Canton of Geneva have worked together on the installation of a temporary garden financed by the Canton. The garden will bring a bit of style to the area between Building 33 and the Globe of Science and Innovation.


"InGRID" at night.

You may have been wondering what those long arching rods are that have suddenly appeared in front of Building 33. Well, we are pleased to introduce InGRID, the temporary garden that is transforming the old parking area between Building 33 and the Globe into a new pedestrian concourse around the tram stop. This space will serve as a multimodal concourse, a meeting point, a waiting area and a place to chat, reserved for pedestrians, CERN personnel and visitors. “We want to create a user-friendly atmosphere by creating a dedicated space for pedestrians,” explains Laurent Essig, landscape architect, lecturer at the Haute Ecole Spécialisée and creator of the InGRID project. CERN also wanted this installation to coincide with the arrival of the tram on 30 April and thus to demonstrate that it is possible to alter the appearance of an area completely through temporary installations, which are quick and inexpensive to erect. The former car park will be transformed into a public concourse where people will be able to choose between the tram, the bus, the shuttle, a bicycle or a hired car.

An inside look at the "InGRID" project while under construction. Visit the completed site on 29 April.

The most outstanding feature of the concourse is the 34 modules containing the almost 4000 8m-high willow rods. “The sprays of willow rods are reminiscent of the trajectories of particles after particle collisions,” explains Laurent Essig. “The layout of the installation is also an allusion to the GRID, which is a network for sharing calculations, connecting machines and conveying knowledge, hence its name. This garden also symbolises the interconnections between human beings and the sharing of their ideas.” The willows are arranged in three rows in front of Building 33 and one in front of the Globe. “Installing the rows of willows on both sides of the Route de Meyrin provides a thematic link between the two spaces. It will also delimit the pedestrian zone,” confirms Marc Chataigneau of the GS Department, who is in charge of the work.

"InGRID" construction site.

The temporary nature of this garden has represented a real and non-negligible challenge for its creation: it had to have maximum impact with a minimum of resources. As Laurent Essig points out: “In a constantly changing world, this is a very interesting aspect. It is important to design installations that can evolve over time. In two or three years’ time, this temporary garden will be replaced by a definitive installation and the 34 modules will be scattered around the CERN site.”

We have pleasure in inviting you to the inauguration of InGRID at 11.30 a.m. on 29 April, when you will be able to find out about the symbolism behind each aspect of this garden.

by Laëtitia Pedroso