The Gergovie plateau is a major archaeological site; theater of the siege of Gergovia in 52 BC, one of the main battles recounted by Julius Caesar in his work La Guerre des Gaules. She saw the Gallic forces gathered under the leadership of Vercingetorix victoriously repelling the assaults of the Roman legions.
Today, there are no visible traces of the fortified town that stood on top of this rocky promontory at the time. However, important remains are known and left hidden underground. They are showcased in a museum located on the plateau.
In addition to its historical and archaeological interest, the site offers an exceptional view over a large part of the chain of Puys in particular.
Despite these strengths, the site did not have any outdoor meditation tools. This is the reason why the Puy-de-Dôme department has launched a vast landscaping project and the installation of heritage interpretation signage.
The site's harsh climatic conditions (regular snowfall and strong frosts) and its geography (in Auvergne, land of volcanoes) prompted the project management team to mainly use enamelled lava stone to make the panels for this project. The supports are mainly made of Corten steel also for better durability and a limited need for maintenance.
Empreinte has notably achieved a technical feat with the creation of a large reading table entirely in enamelled lava and in a pyramidal shape. Great precision in the fit of the lava rocks was required to achieve a perfect tip. All around, 5 other enamelled lava orientation tables present the landscapes in 360 °. This work is called the summit belvedere because it was positioned very precisely on the high point of the plateau.
The other major constraint was the impossibility of digging the soil of the plateau to make a foundation. Indeed, the archaeological remains are located at a very shallow depth (sometimes less than 20 cm). Significant coordination therefore had to be implemented with the lot in charge of landscaping to make it possible to fix the furniture, in particular on local basalt blocks and to catch up the soil levels by adding soil rather than by digging.
WB Franck Watel
Enamelled lava, Corten steel, powder-coated steel structure, installation in a historic site, significant archaeological constraints.