AUBERVILLIERS / Condorcet Campus
On a site of 5.4 hectares, the city of Aubervilliers will welcome the largest university campus dedicated to research and education in humanities and social sciences. The development of this site forms part of a wider urban renewal process: the new neighborhood has a dual role of articulation: between the various elements of the campus, but also between the campus and the city. This articulation is achieved using three main principles: the “Park Campus”, the “Avenue of Humanity” and the “Active Plinth”.
The Condorcet Campus is a “Park Campus”, a soothing green oasis in the midst of the hard landscapes of the South of the Saint-Denis Plain. It offers a large and generous green space that extends the structure of vegetation of the surrounding streets into the landscape of the campus. This densification of vegetation assures an essential climatic function and fosters biodiversity, whilst offering a comfortable outdoor space.
The second figure, the “Avenue of Humanity”, creates the back bone of the project; it is a North-South axis with a generous width. It reunites the different institutions and constitutes their addresses. It is inflected to pass through the important new Documentary Centre and connects in one stroke the metro stop ‘Front Populaire’ with the tramway, while giving direct access to the ‘RER’ local trains on the North side.
The “Active Plinth” imagines the ground floors of all of the campus buildings as a very transparent and permeable continuity, not only visually permeable but also physically accessible. This “Active Plinth” with a height of 4.5 meters, includes the entry halls of the various institutions, and also related facilities that are open to residents and students.
LOS ANGELES / Pershing Square
Pershing Square is one of the historic public spaces of Downtown Los Angeles. Having been transformed multiple times over last century, the park has lost its initial function as a green lung and meeting place for the inhabitants. With the increasing dominance of the car in the metropolis, the underground parking spaces from the 1980s raised up the square, isolating it from its urban context, leaving a walled, concrete and inaccessible space.
“Agence Ter & Team” (Agence Ter as leader of a team including ten Los Angeles firms) has developed a vision for Pershing Square Renew: a new paradigm of public space, integrating social and cultural life, nature and the urban fabric, based on a project of a “canvas”, which will be developed fully together with the inhabitants and stakeholders of Downtown.
The base principle of the design is to put the square back again on the same level as its surroundings: “radical flatness”. A meticulous redesign of the roof of the parking allows to create this continuous surface. The new Pershing Square will therefore be inclusive, democratic and accessible; returned to its historic flatness and continuous with the surrounding sidewalks, accessible from every direction and for everyone, without any stairs or walls.
Pershing Square will be full of shade again; through a native tree canopy covering diverse gardens and a vine-covered “smart canopy” covering kiosks for diverse uses. At the center a great lawn welcomes activities of all scales, from a picnic to a concert to a movie.
Sustainability is inherent to the proposal: water is managed and collected, plant species are drought tolerant, and the smart canopy generates power for the park. This canopy structure also includes a significant public artwork: Liquid Sky by light artist Leo Villareal.
The timeless design, elegant in its simplicity, installs a vibrant, open and dynamic heart in the center of Downtown Los Angeles.
BEGLES / Route de Toulouse
The project accompanies the urban axis of the Route de Toulouse with an avenue for tramway, pedestrians and cyclists within a linear park that leads to the « green delta ».
The Avenue Promenade, formerly a secondary access way, will become a central, urban space linking the northern and southern clusters with a calming landscape character. The treatment of this Avenue Promenade will be in continuity with the landscape development of the park of Mussonville and provides natural spaces at the heart of the neighbourhood.
The new quarter of the development zone ZAC de la Route de Toulouse stretches over 670m from North to South, with a width varying between 150m and 6.5m. This urban project defines 3 sequences and the strategic orientations proposed in the project aim to contextualize the Route de Toulouse, based on the surrounding major landscape structures and current land use. The two important nodes of Terre Sud and Place Aristide Briand are treated as high intensity public spaces. These spaces will be pedestrianized, to assure the continuities of circulations and the development of strong spatial identities.
CASTELNAUDARY / Lycée François Andreossy
The Jean Durand high school and the agricultural school of Castelnaudary are being brought together within the larger context of the construction of the new François Andreossy high school.
Today, the two schools are separated by an agricultural field. Their buildings will be united as part of a real campus, an ensemble of educational buildings centered on a park. A topographical strategy for the site allows rainwater management by means of a floodable landscape. A promenade connects all of the hitherto isolated educational buildings, and edges the field that will become the new heart of the site. This pathway echoes the quays of the nearby Small Basin of the Canal du Midi, by its peripheral configuration around a central void, as well as by its comparable wide horizon. The access to the campus is structured by a planted lane, which follows the existing agricultural traces and leads to the heart of the site.
BERLIN / Campus Hertzallee
To further the interconnection of city and university, a coherent combination of campus and avenue is created between the Technische Universität Berlin (TU) and the University of the arts. A tree-lined ‘Campus Walk’ with new features and functions acts as a linear common area for meeting and recreation, connecting the campuses’ old and new facilities. Paths of varying surfaces alternate along the main axis and integrate the diverse requirements of the campus. The central campus green is a lawn densely planted with trees. It encompasses spaces for leisure, studying and quiet retreat while forming a valuable base for all other new open spaces and campus paths. Clear cut crossing pathways connect the two universities with one another, the path between the main building and canteen being clearly emphasized by its’ direction and dimension. Four squares along the Hertzallee, all connected with other established city areas, provide representation, recreational qualities and good accessibility.
KARLSRUHE / Schlossplatz
In the cityscape of Karlsruhe, the Schlossplatz is the first square in a sequence of public spaces, devised by the architect Friedrich Weinbrenner in the 19th century, originating from the castle and continuing through the city along the north-south axis to form the Via Triumphalis. The Mittelparterre is incorporated into the castle ensemble.
The historic Lengelacher’s sculptures are positioned at eye level to the visitor and structure the space. Two sculptures always stand facing one another, creating a space between them and giving a rhythm to the area of the Parterre. Low narrow basins of water within these spaces guide the sight and highlight the statues, which are reflected in the water’s surface. Along the main axis, the Mittelparterre is edged with blooming plants in a contemporary interpretation of the once very colorful historical square. Through the renovation of the Schlossplatz, the ensemble in front of the castle has grown in attractiveness. The connection to the downtown area through the strengthened Via Triumphalis generates comprehensive continuity. The lawn sections are now accessible and the water basins invite child’s play in the summer, when they are also expected to enhance the city’s micro-climate. The water basin set around the foot of the Karl-Friedrich monument offers new qualities. The Schlossplatz is becoming the central urban space in Karlsruhe.
GLASGOW / George Square
George Square is Glasgow’s premier urban space, sadly in decline but housing the impressive City Chambers and an important collection of statues. This international design competition was to create an outstanding square for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games. We affirm the civic importance of the square, keeping the space whole and open. An enduring base of stone and symbol, laid out before City. Chambers, has at south a gallery of statues, the existing figures regrouped with possibilities for the future. To the north, a generous band of light foliaged trees forms a balcony: seating, play and light and bell like shelters encourage people to pause and enjoy the rare and precious slanting sunlight. Paved in stone with subtle variations in surface finish, reflecting the changing skies and reacting differently to the frequent rain, the square celebrates Glasgow’s climate. A reflecting mirror of retractable water multiplies the light and reflects the architectural heritage of the square.
PARIS / Porte Pouchet
The site of the future Pouchet square is a leftover urban fraction between Paris and its neighbouring communities of Clichy and Saint-Ouen. Marked by the presence of the ring road flyover infrastructure, this site today is a crowded and dark space, a discouraging barrier for the pedestrian. The relocation of the amenities that are currently situated underneath the flyover will liberate a space of about 2ha, which leaves a true opportunity to install a link in the urban fabric. The design proposes to transform this new urban brownfield into an emblematic public space that welcomes diverse uses (leisure, playgrounds and sports, events, …) Two fundamental principles are at the base:
- Offering a traversing and permeable space reaching from the one side of the ring road to the other
- Transforming the ceiling of the infrastructure into an artwork , thus creating an attractive and astonishing place
The future Pouchet square is designed as one whole and unique entity, made up of three differentiated sequences: the open gallery, the southern garden and the northern garden.
SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE / The Lisière Pereire
The Lisière Pereire in Saint-Germain-en-Laye has an exceptional strategic location, in both its position as a gateway to the city, and also because of its direct link with the forest. Our aim is to include the very diverse uses and functions of the development in one single coherent space. The Lisière Pereire becomes therefore a hybrid zone, mixing at the same time housing and activities, collective and intimate life, city and nature, with the parallel aim to bring the forest back to the inhabitants. The project deploys and enriches the local landscape vocabulary, adapting it to the urban context. The natural declinations of the forest (edge, clearing, …), the materials and particularities of the site as well as the emblematic figures of the city (the Terrace of LeNôtre, …) are all elements that have influenced the development of this urban project. New spaces and new landscapes are thus created, all by staying in very close relation to the context.
VAIRES-SUR-MARNE / Water Sports Park
The water sports park of Île de Vaires is entirely integrated into its natural environment and will become the showcase of French excellence in the water sports of rowing and canoeing at a high level.
By precise spatial definition, the project ensures an overall architectural unity. Water is used to structure the site and transform it into an archipelago.
The landscape design is the confirmation of an island devoted to sports and recreation. To obtain good integration and dialogue between sports, functions, landscape and touristic development, the project is organized around a thick strip that allows for visual and functional coherence and recreates a new horizon.
On a large scale, this project inscribes itself into the logic of the existing densely wooded landscape with clearings by introducing a new element, like a clearing that underlines and surrounds the installations.