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Go back to the page "Scale Models with Matchsticks"
The history of the High School (in French):
on the website of "les Amis des Vieilles Pierres de Lescar"
on the website of the high school of Lescar
My Second Scale Model: Classicaly, a house is four walls and a roof. After I finish the scale model of my parents' house, building a second scale model of a house was not motivating to me at that time. I needed more challenging issues. Indeed, it was easy to find the target of the next model: Reading the book Les Basses Pyrénées, Les Editions du Bastion, about the history of the Atlantic Pyrenean area in France, I saw a drawing of the monastery of Lescar, a small town in Béarn. This monastery was founded in the seventeenth century. Now, this building is known as Jacques Monod High School of Lescar (a picture). Since I studed there for three years, I was charmed by the drawing and I decided to build the scale model of Jacques Monod High School of Lescar.
In April 1997, I met the director of the High School. He already knew about me when I was student there. Then, first step, I had to redraw the maps, with a computer, considering only the relevant details. I printed them at the chosen scale for the model: I chose the scale 1/150 which appeared to be very suitable. In June 1997, I stuck the first matchstick, a few days after the final exams of the semester. "Where should I stick the first one ? Where should I start ?" This was already a real question and I remember that for a moment I had somehow the feeling that I would not be able to answer ... but I had to start somewhere.
The building of this scale model corresponded to the difficulties that I expected. In comparison with the first one, it was larger by the difficulties but also by the size. In October 2001, I had already stuck about 7,000 matchsticks. I estimate around 13,000 matchsticks at the end of the construction. It took about three summers to build the first scale model. The current one has been under construction for many years since June 1997, including breaks.
In October 2001
In May 2002
Because of my post-doc position in USA from September 2002 to August 2003, I stopped working on this project for some time. I came back to France in September 2003. I was then able to resume with the construction of the scale model. As one can see on the pictures, the walls were finished in May 2005. The roof, as the next step, needs to be more careful.
In May 2005
Fall 2005, I met with a horse (Edelweiss), new activity ... less time for the scale model.
2009 - 2016
Long-term break: eco-renovation of a 200-years old house to offer a paradise environment to Edelweiss. Now, she enjoys the field, the renovation is done. The scale model activity resumed in 2017.
In July 2018
The roof of the historical part is done:
In December 2018
It will not be finished by the end of the year but the end of the work has never been so close:
In July 2019
July 17, 2019, the roof is fully done. Stat of the art on July 21, 2019:
But not yet finished: still have to do a piece of fence, gates, and chimneys.