France’s Got Talent – 10 Awesome Projects From France
Following on in our world series we have selected 10 awesome projects that perfectly represent landscape architecture in France today.
The French history of landscape architecture is very influential and famous. It has been formed and changed throughout centuries. You certainly have heard about the French formal garden, or jardin à la française – this style was inspired by idealized romantic landscapes and the paintings of celebrated French painters. No wonder France reminds us of love and romance.
But, what about today? What has changed in the present gardens? Let’s see in our selection of 10 contemporary projects from France.
10 Awesome Projects From The France
Thinking about the future when working on a project is a vital trait of every landscape architect’s mind. The TN Plus designers „took a peek“ into the future of the Central garden block B4, and came up with the solution for every problem that appeared. They wisely decided to reduce the number of plant species, choosing ones that grow naturally and spread by themselves over time. This automatically reduced the cost of maintenance, and with an extraordinarily shaped platform, this block is just going to flourish over time.
When designing a park, accomplishing the „natural“ look can be very tricky. The designer should be careful in every stage of planning, because everything needs to seem effortless. This especially applies to large parks, like this one in Montévrain. Its surface covers 20ha – which makes it pretty big in relation to some city parks.
The landscape architects successfully dealt with this challenge by creating a quiet and natural park. Rural characteristics, like woodlands and a storm-water basin, are a perfect oasis for people who are looking for place to contact with nature.
There are countless cities that are concentrated around rivers. People have always been attracted to them, and this is probably the reason why many riverbanks are successfully developing. The designers of the Lyon River Bank knew the key to success, and before starting the process of planning, they asked people what they wanted there. The final result was a 5km long neatly arranged riverbank, without car parking. Just people and the river, together enjoying in their forever-lasting relationship.
When creating a public space, the inclusion of national symbols of the country can be equally important to other landscape elements. The history of the state should be respected and exhibited, and we know a lot of places with these kinds of landmarks.
Place de la République is one of these places, proudly showing a national symbol – the statue of Marianne. The TVK designers reconstructed a former traffic area into an important piece of pedestrian space, filled with people, water, and vegetation.
One of the most important things when designing a landscape is to take care of the ecosystem. This is always the sensitive part of any space, and the designers thoughtfully managed to bring the nature of the wet meadow to its fullest potential, whilst at the same time increasing the accessibility to the area. Combining geometric shapes of the built elements with the natural curves of the river, this project, besides being ecologically responsible, gracefully fulfills its aesthetic role.
People love to combine nature with the urban world, because it always has been important to our lives. For that, the world has the right people, who know how to do it with style – landscape architects. The restructuring of Town Center brought to life an area that was overgrown with brownfields. The designers researched the area and reconciled the city and the river, while providing the usable and beautiful place for rest and relaxation.
The planners of this project have taken sustainability to the next level. As we all know, sustainability is nowadays a very important factor in design. What they did here is a brilliant mixture of stunning landscape with incredibly beneficial sustainable techniques, that serve multiple purposes for the users. This project has a variety of social features, and is oriented towards bioclimatic strategies, which makes this project an outstanding success.
Fitting a new project into an existing landscape isn’t always as easy as it may seem. The area of the Clos Layat Park was laying empty, until the authorities decided to recruit the BASE designers for its reconstruction. By extending the forest on the project’s border as it gradually becomes a meadow, confidently inviting people in for exploration – all in a natural manner – this park became an urban landscape that offers true communication with nature.
2. A Toddlers Playground, by Espace Libre, in Alfortville
Every landscape architect knows that designing a space well means that you must really understand who will be using that space. In that manner, the users will be strongly attracted to the area.
Before planning of the Toddlers Playground, the designers assembled detailed research on children’s psychology. With this, they actually comprehended what is necessary for toddler’s proper development of sensory skills, and made a two-in-one combination – real functionality with pleasant landscape.
1. Martin Luther King Park, by Atelier Jacqueline Osty & associés, in Paris
Living in the big city would be very tough if there weren’t any parks and landscapes. Built over 13 years and in atwo phases, the Martin Luther King Park plays a major role in the Clichy Batignolles area of Paris. Each part of the project has a different purpose, and the planners cleverly put teh natural energy of the sun and wind into action. Considering that precious rainwater is recycled, and that landscape architecture is in the forefront, this park certainly deserves to carry the title of a supreme landscape.
According to these 10 outstanding projects, we can see that modernization is taking its swing. The styles of the French landscapes have perhaps changed, but contemporary and „old-school“ gardens kept one common characteristic – their respect towards nature. Landscape architects are becoming guardians of the planet, looking for every opportunity to come up with new solutions and to make friends with the environment.
France is progressing in the field with every new project, so besides these 10 masterpieces, do you have other favorite landscape projects in this country? Tell us in the comments!
- Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Planning and Urban Design by Michael Bayer
- Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design With Nature by Douglas Farrs
Article by Lidija Šuster
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