Shane Lynam's statement
In 1963 President de Gaulle initiated a regional development plan known as ‘Mission Racine’, to develop a wild and windy stretch of French coastline between Montpellier and Perpignan into a series of resorts. Avant-garde architects were hired to construct unique and unusual spaces which would be responsive to the local environment and focused on the individual. Although the project provided a new source of income locally, Mission Racine was not only about enriching the region. It included an 18% quota of social housing to allow more French citizens to take advantage of their time off work. It would become an alternative to the expensive Cote d’Azur without the high rise excesses of similar developments further south in Spain. Fifty High Seasons reflects on the cumulative effect of half a century of tourism on the innovative built environment established by Mission Racine, while showing why I fell for its unique charm.