LE MOULIN FAYVON
THE FAYVON MILL
F.A.C.E. has been located on the historical site known as “Le Moulin Fayvon” for more than a decade when artist Monte Laster installed his studio here in 1996. For many years, the historical importance of this site had been lost and the current edifice, built in the mid to late 19th century, was destined for destruction. Upon researching its origin, Laster discovered it was also the site of a much earlier construction dating back to at least the 12th century.
Its first recorded appearance was in 1135, in a document written by the infamous Abbot Suger, creator of Gothic architecture. It marks his appropriation of the mill, purchased in order to direct the profits towards the building of the Basilica of Saint Denis, located one kilometre away.
The earliest images of the current mill were taken towards the end of the 19th century while the original mill has been found on maps dating back to the Middle Ages.
The River Croult, which once powered the mill, was channelled underground in the 1950s during the building of the massive government housing project known as “La cite des 4000”.
Since 1995, Monte Laster and FACE have been taking care of and refurbishing the site known as Le Moulin Fayvon. In 2001 Laster created the FACE association in order to give physical, commercial and moral importance to the then dilapidated ruin.
For over a decade, FACE has worked diligently and alone to repair, renovate, and develop a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical for the artists, architects, sociologists and local population working there.
The work undertaken has been:
Complete renovation and upgrading of the entire electrical installation
Installation of a new water meter and water lines leading to the Moulin
Installation of a restroom, water distribution and hot water
Replacement of all broken windows and skylights, which had been previously covered only by plastic sheeting
The creation of a garden in the main court area
The renovation is based entirely on FACE's own iniative. All of the work accomplished thus far is due to private gifts in materials, funds and labor.
MOULIN FAYVON, AS VIEWED BY GILLES CLÉMENT
December 14, 2009
Gilles Clément is one of France’s most honoured and respected figures, whether referring to his gardens, books or politics. A professor at the Versailles School of Landscape design, he has published numerous novels and academic works. Clément created his personal garden in La Creuze in central France. Known as ‘La Vallée’, it is considered to be one of the most interesting in the country and was the inspiration for his own theoretical oeuvres, including Le jardin en mouvement (The Moving Garden) and Le manifeste du tièrce paysage (Manifest of the Third Landscape).
In this interview conducted by artist Michela Franzoso and landscape architect Maude Mozzi, Clément is asked to give his ideas on “Le Moulin” – a project created by artist Monte Laster, in collaboration with the Nelobo Agency and led by architect Olivier Boucheron. Clément is asked how his personal theories could be applied to the project and for his view on the work to be done with reference to its highly stigmatised urban context.