(Daily Mail) – It has a population of 12 million, numerous squares, skyscrapers and even a port – all planned in meticulous detail.
Yet the city of Urville exists only in the mind of French autistic-savant Giles Trehin who has spent 20 years planning out the city in his mind. His drawings garnered such a following online that they were turned into a book.
The 40-year-old artist, from Cagnes sur Mer, near Nice in south-east France, has dedicated his life to the imaginary city, recording every intricate detail.
The artist has even presented his plans for the fictional city to conferences on Autism around the world.
Mr Trehin said: ‘I have been drawing since the age of five. I have always been fascinated by big cities and aeroplanes.
‘Since 1984, I started to be interested by the conception of an imaginary city.
‘I called it Urville – the name comes from “Dumont d’Urville” which is a scientific base in a French territory of the Antarctic.’
According to the Wisconsin Medical Society, Mr Trehin said: ‘It’s in 1984 that the idea of an imaginary city became concrete, during one of my vacation journeys back in New York city. After this trip, I lived in London between 1984 and 1986.’
Mr Trehin originally began building the city in Lego but soon decided it could be more easily expanded by drawing it.
‘After 1987, there was a big evolution in my conception of the city,’ he said.
‘I realised that I could expand the city in my mind without necessarily building it in Lego bricks and compensate this by drawing.’
Trehin’s book traces the history of the city – from the Second World War’s impact on Urville and even stretching back to the French Revolution.
‘In 1789, during the French Revolution, Urville has 2.8 millions inhabitants, but the number of habitations became too limited to host the huge population growth due to the Industrial Revolution,’ he writes.
‘In order to cope, the authorities of Urville call upon the famous town-planner Oscar Laballière (1803/ 1883) to start gigantic urban projects which are still outlining Urville even today.’
The book brings together 300 of Trehins drawings. For more work by Mr Trehin and his girlfriend, artist Catherine Mouet, visit the couple’s website here.