Former industrial brownfield land, La Forge Moderne is a festive artisan village located near the Pau train station. In the middle there is the Barn's, a bar hosting festive events, concerts and encounters. As an atypical and hybrid space, drawing a portrait of the Forge Moderne is not an easy task. But the place is worth a visit...
The economic life of the village
The Forge Moderne welcomes all year long craftspersons and artists in its quarters, like Amandine Antunez. Freshly settled at the Forge Moderne, she masters the technique of stucco marble, a material made from plaster binder, and from that she works with natural colorants made from plants. In addition to making and selling her pieces, she regularly works with art students and offers workshops in her studio. There is also a honey house, local organizations' offices, ceramists, a carpenter, an antiquarian and more.
Le Barn's: (re)creating social links
Comme tout village qui se respecte, la Forge Moderne dispose d'un café-bar en son centre : le Barn's. Géré par les fondateurs de l'association la Forge Moderne, le Barn's est un lieu convivial où se rencontre des individus de tous les âges et de tous les horizons. En plus, des foodtrucks s'installe dans devant le Barn's et propose de la nourriture locale ou venue d'ailleurs. Cinéma en plein-air, concerts, spectacles de magie, guinguette-électro... Sylvain et Pierre Garms, les deux frères à l'origine du projet, ouvrent le lieu à toutes les formes de culture. Le Barn's permet de (re)créer du lien social, de rassembler, de divertir.
A family story
La Forge Moderne is above all a family story. The great grandfather of Sylvain and Pierre Garms, Jean Lalanne, set up sheds in the neighborhood at the beginning of the industrial revolution. He then started a transport activity in the 1870s. Over the decades, the initial economic activity stopped and the place was abandoned. Inspired by their experience in California, Pierre and Sylvain decided to reinvest the place to create something new, while honoring the origins and history of the Forge Moderne. Indeed, Jean Lalanne remains omnipresent: his portrait is visible inside the bar and on the wall of a shed at the back of the Barn's.
A village in Pau
La Forge Moderne is an unusual space. Often described as hybrid and atypical, the inspiration comes from the concept of a third place, "a new space of social link, emancipation and collective initiatives." Sylvain emphasizes that the Forge Moderne is now becoming a collective adventure. People take ownership of the project the Garms brothers started together. This "little corner of Béarnie" (a mix between Béarn and California) not only puts emphasis on creators, but also on cooks and professionals of the performing arts, artists... A place that gathers and inspires!
Photo par Szymon Jędrzejewski - @jedrzejewski.foto