In 2006 I wrote about autistic savant Gilles Tréhin and Urville, a large and fantastically detailed city that he has been creating in mind since the age of 12, and shares with us by way of hundreds of intricate drawings.
I recently learned that shortly after I wrote that post, Tréhin’s English language book about the project, Urville, was released, containing an elaborate tour of the imaginary city in over 300 of his drawings.
Tréhin is an autistic savant, with extraordinary abilities in mathematics, music, language and art. His visions of Urville form a comprehensive image of this city, complete with economic, social, political and historic background, in addition to geography and architecture.
There are two sites devoted to Urville, http://urvillecity.free.fr, and the newer http://urville.com/. The latter can seem a little hard to navigate unless you notice links at the top dividing the site into two sections, one for Tréhin, and the other for his partner Catherine Mouet. Once in Tréhin’s section you can navigate to pages of images for skyscrapers, transportation, public buildings and squares.
The http://urvillecity.free.fr is a bit more straightforward, with sections for views of Urville and recent drawings.
The fascinating thing about these drawings is that they are not an unconnected series of make-believe street scenes and envisioned architecture, but glimpses of a connected whole, a complete city that exists as a mental construct; a matrix, if you will, of interconnected buildings, plazas, streets and their relationships in a projected geographical space.
For more, see my previous post about Gilles Tréhin.