“The great question of town planning is no longer the one that occupied Alberti, to know how to choose a site where the town will be built, as more that of knowing how we will manage to inherit through a few projects sites which are from now on all concerned by the urban transformation of territories” * Here in Armentières, this question is essential because of the turbulent history caused by stratifications and brutal juxtapositions.It seems to us that in order to found the project in history the site could allow to invent a place in a contemporary way, in the style of a palimpsest. Thus, the project turns around two fundamental points : the site as foundation, and its usages as regulating ideas.
The General de Gaulle square is recomposed by uniting the old main square, the front of the town hall and the war memorial. It finds its unity through its lines and its stone floor. In counterpoint, Saint Vaast Square is articulated between Général de Gaulle square and the old Lys riverbed. It is thought of simultaneously as a square and a garden grouped together in the name of “garden-square”. From the urban framework to the blocks housing public facilities, the street system of the quarter is extended in order to complete the urban meshing.
The transversality and the shaping through three wide ramps is redirected towards the old Lys riverbed and allow us to build a relationship between the square and the future greenway. The uses are thus realigned : market and shops, promenades, children’s playground, café terraces, are organised according to the scales and the places fitting in with the large buildings that give rhythm to the urban space : the Town Hall and its belfry, the Church, the war memorial, the Vivat theatre.
*Sébastien Marot, L’art de la mémoire, le territoire et l’architecture, LE VISITEUR, n∞4, 1999
Project: Général de Gaulle Square and Saint Vaast Square
Landscape architecture: Atelier des paysages Bruel-Delmar ([email protected])
Location: Armentières / Nord (59) / France
Commissioned by: Lille Métropole Communauté Urbaine
Area: 30 000m≤ (public space design)
Cost: EUR6.6 M
Design & Implementation period : 2008-2010
Photos: Max Lerouge & Atelier de paysage Bruel-Delmar
Text: Atelier de paysages Bruel-Delmar
Project Team :
Atelier de Paysage Bruel-Delmar – landscape architects
Urbatec – Roads system and urban public utilities
G. Pilet – Lighting engineer