The Ministry of Unofficial Languages
Prof Lesley Lokko and Sumayya Vally
12R - An African Almanac
In Reunion, Rue de Paris is significant in that all its buildings – both historical and contemporary – reflect classical French culture, history and traditions, and do not reflect the ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity of its population. About 80% of the population is mixed or Créole, with African, Indian, Madagascan and Chinese being the predominant groups other than European.
The project explores the St Denis Town Hall using different combinations of all three scales – metric, Angulam and rahf – particularly through working drawings where measurement and precision are of paramount importance. The overlaps, slippages and mis-appropriations of scale undermine the programme, façades, spaces, forms and patterns of the Town Hall, leading to new and unexpected spaces and uses. Scale is, indeed, everything. As is language.