Waterworld, France.

Thirty minutes south of Paris I arrive in Achères, home to the largest wastewater treatment plant in Europe. However I have come for another water based attraction, the final day of a festival called Waterworld.  Over the last 3 days more than 1000 young architects and designers have been busy building a floating city and today I join them to have a party.

I am told that the festival is beyond the local hypermarche and McDo. I do love a good supermarche and having briefly weakened to the distraction I finally leave suburbia and find Waterworld set in fields surrounding by a large lake.


It’s almost midday and the festival is still sleepy. Some strong coffee is doing the rounds and a decent breakfast from Disco Soup, an organisation raising awareness about food wastage, brings the troops alive and soon the festival is bustling with final preparations.


By two the builder-revellers are are dragging their structures toward the lake. Amazingly the structures float, the music starts and then the teams are clambering aboard like marauding pirates attacking the flotilla, dancing, laughing and just hanging out soaking in the sun and achievement.


No glue or nails were allowed in order to recycle the materials afterwards, so everything is held together with sweat, wire and sheer will. The result is impressive: a fictional floating city has been created with modules built by teams of 10 people.


As I am passed another glass of cidre I am informed the party will continue until late, and I guess, since the next train is not until 6am the next morning, I will have to stay onboard.


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