Within the context of its heterogeneous urban fabric along the Canal Saint Denis, the Elie Lotar public garden offers a venue for relaxation and play, the borderlines of which have been ingeniously handled. On the one hand, these edges reconnect the park with the neighborhood, both visually and physically; and on the other, they contrive to integrate and use a drainage system which recovers the water runoff from the gardens and the urban quarter they serve.

These borderlines form a “technical and scenic” belt. In fact, they consist of a ditch that collects runoff water and drains it through buried tubes to a main pipeline. The idea of the Agence Ter team was to take advantage of the wet environment created by this simple piece of engineering, and to display it by means of landscape design. They planted vegetation, mostly willows and grasses, which are now richly abundant and luxuriant, a thoroughly festive surrounding based on a rational, functional installation. The gates to the garden are set into a wall in the ditch like a haha in the thick vegetation; they effectively close off the garden without impeding the view.

On one side of the garden, a series of cinema studios forms a monumental façade. Here, the landscape architects have erected a rose pergola 130 meters long, parallel to the drain line, to orient the garden space and offer a shady, richly colored walk which also serves as a transition area between the opaque buildings and the free space. The canal that borders the garden on another side is spanned by a pedestrian bridge, which is an important visual landmark and as well as giving access to and from the far bank. The central expanse can be used for every kind of activity and offers two oval play areas at the far end of a grassy lawn.

  • Program / Project: AUBERVILLERS / Elie Lotar Park
  • Client: City of Aubervilliers
  • Project management: Agence Ter (lead consultant) + BERIM (Engineers)
  • Area: 1 ha
  • Date: 2000 - 2001
  • Amount: 1,2 M€
  • Location: Aubervilliers, France

AUBERVILLERS / Elie Lotar Park