MANTES-LA-JOLIE / Riverside Eco-neighborhood
The project for a riverside eco-neighbourhood will create a new mixed-use development between the communes of Mantes La Jolie and Rosny sur Seine, part of the major project for the Seine Downriver. It proposes a redesign of the Seine River banks in order to provide access for all to the river, as well as the creation of sports facilities and regional leisure amenities. It takes advantage of its riverside setting, and the eco-systems already present on the site to create a pioneering urban project based on principles of sustainable development, which creates opportunities for ecological practices.
SHANGHAI / French Pavilion
The French pavilion is an eminent and innovative structure, which brings a dynamic image of living in this country, as much by its form and composition as by its contents. As an answer to the theme of the World Expo 2010, it displays the ability of France to formulate strong cultural and sustainable development proposals.
The pavilion reinterprets and rewrites the principles of the French style garden in a contemporary manner, drawing heavily on the ancient French culture of the garden in which geometry, the parterre flower bed and water are all present. The garden, a kind of contemporary “French embroidery”, begins on the panoramic terrace with bamboo floor slats lined with hedges, and continues as a suspended vertical garden with two sides forming the inner envelope of the building. Though the garden occupies the centre of the pavilion, it becomes a vertical hanging garden, transforming itself into four planted façades: the planting is the very substance of these facades. The design of the parterre flower bed is reinterpreted using a geometry borrowed from the layout of electronic printed circuits. It becomes a vertical double-sided garden: the outer envelope marked by sobriety, the inner envelope by diversity. The vegetation is more than an animation for the façade: it is its writing and materiality. The ground upon which the building stands is a reflective pool of water alongside which visitors queue before reaching the actual entry of the exhibition. This mirror is a kaleidoscope of reflections of the sky and the four planted façades. This pool of water can, like theatre curtains, retract into a narrow side channel to reveal a performance space covering the entire surface of the ground floor.
MARSEILLE / Saint-Jean Fortress
Built for defense, the Saint-Jean fort today offers a unique panorama of Marseille and its surroundings from its promontory. It looks forward to a future in which its abandoned military installations will become a place for walking and contemplating the Phocean city.
The project is organised in two parts: historical and topographical. On one side, the fort promontory is very exposed to the coastal elements and the Mistral; on the other side is an enclosed and sheltered place, in contact with the city. The project rests on three principles that offer three distinct experiences:
– The fort ecosystem, which takes into account the existing ecosystems and develops ecological dynamics from them,
– The horizon attractor, which uses a series of increments or adjustments to frame or capture the horizon, setting the scene for walks along the upper part of the fort,
– The garden-gallery of Mediterranean plants, which allows people to climb from the lower to the upper part of the fort via a path that narrates the history of plants in the Mediterranean civilization.
This facility is a real botanical gallery where edible, medicinal and aromatic plants, as well as those mentioned in religious texts, grow on vertical structures accompanying staircases and lifts. A man-made addition to the structure of the old fort, it forms an attraction in itself.
MILAN / Citylife Park
The city of Milan is in need of a new contemporary park. This new park is at the heart of the residential development City Life, located on the site of a former fair ground. The “Parco dei Quattro Nastri” (park of the four ribbons) emerges from a dialogue between thematic promenades (arts, sports, nature, etc.) and with the buildings on the site. The ribbons play with the space and create the image of the project by connecting with the context and becoming a true instrument of spatial reconnection and interaction for its users. At the same time, it becomes a space for reconnection between tradition and innovation, by combining low-tech and high-tech. Finally, the reconnection with the city is also created on multiple scales.
The “Parco dei Quattro Nastri” will have a strong natural vocation that will give an example to the city on how to recreate nature in the city, all in dialogue with the urban development aspirations.