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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2009

Malcolm Woollen
Pages 153-172
DOI: 10.7761/ESP.1.2.153

Nimes-Caissargues Rest Area
A Garden for Non-Dwellers

This article addresses a project by Bernard Lassus, a celebrated French landscape architect, for a rest area on a highway outside Nimes, France. Using this project as a lens, it asks whether a tourist can approach any sense of Heidegger’s concept of dwelling. It goes on to inquire about fresh visions of places, citing familiar modernist approaches and postmodern ones advocated by Lyotard. After dealing with cultural differences in the promotion of tourist sites, it attempts to dissect Lassus’s motives and references in the design of the Nimes-Caissargues Rest Area. Finally, it places Lassus’s project in the context of earlier gardens about cities, use of simulacra, Heidegger’s theory of dwelling, and Lyotard’s concept of “unpresentable.”