Our encounter with one another during our training and our complementary professional experiences enhanced our sensitivity to urban development and the landscape. As a result, since we created La Compagnie du Paysage in 2004 it has made a mark on the complex urban regeneration projects launched by the National Agency for Urban Renewal (ANRU).
Over the years, we have formed a methodology based on certain values and a common culture of land use planning. Today, this puts us, with the support of our team, in a position to publicise our agency at both national and European level.
We share a set of convictions which form the basis for a working philosophy in which the following elements are intimately combined:
Analysis and consultation are essential prerequisites for conceptual work, an indispensable step if the designer is to respond effectively and pragmatically to the urban issues encountered, regardless of scale. Ensuring universal support for the project requires a tripartite collaborative and consensual approach combining the contracting authority, end users and the project management team;
Urban composition is addressed primarily on the basis of public spaces, which act like an epidermis, ensuring the vital exchanges that are necessary for a balanced urban entity. It is our responsibility to operate on this delicate organ to restore the symbiosis between man, his immediate context and the wider environment;
The spatial composition of public spaces requires rigorous design work at the interface between functionalities and perceptions. By setting it in its wider perspective, we honestly reveal the essential qualities or landscape features of a given environment. This work particularly comes into its own today in the context of urban regeneration projects, where it contributes actively to opening areas up and linking them together in networks.
As the landscape designer’s material is vegetation – that is, living organisms – we do our work with humility and respect. Our palettes of textures and colours are used with finesse and sensitivity in order to offer constantly changing plant environments that contribute to human well-being and the reinforcement of biodiversity in urban environments.
These shared values together give our designs a contemporary resonance and blend our projects into the individual areas in which they are set in timeless fashion.
This linear park located in the heart of the Masui district in Brussels is today the only free space available to the municipalities of Brussels and Schaerbeek to develop a key public space in the district. This precious space has been earmarked to become an attractive and sociable location. The project, located over the bed of the covered River Senne, has a twofold purpose. With its existing network of vegetation, it will reinforce both the district’s identity and the Brussels-Capital Region’s green network, linking the Laeken district with the Parc du 21 Juillet.
This public space is currently characterised by numerous interruptions, due in particular to being crossed by Rue Masui, Avenue de la Reine and Rue du Palais.
Our team has therefore worked on a design to restore the natural environment, enhancing the regional biodiversity in this linear park which extends through four sequences. This approach enables a variety of different atmospheres to be created in line with the park’s uses and the activities that take place in it, and represents a perfect response to the concerns of sustainable development.
Characterised by large-scale urban planning (an Urban Priority Zone from the 1960s) and unattractive public spaces, Épinay city centre cast a shadow over its urban surroundings. This dualism created problematic contrasts and disruptions of scale for the urban landscape.
The main objective of this urban renewal project (governed by an ANRU agreement) is to restore urban dynamism through a rigorous and proactive strategy aimed at overhauling the entire city – both the functions in its centre and its residential areas.
This project involved reconfiguring a new urban fabric in order to connect different districts together, improve internal access and create places where people could meet. This road and green network has been designed in conjunction with the city centre, which makes it more attractive today.
The changes to the city’s layout that have been made are intentionally plain and functional, with the aim of making the city centre a ‘unifying ensemble’ between old city and modern city. In this context, a public spaces design charter has been created in order to ensure the unity, convenience and durability of the facilities that are created.
The Île Marante joint development zone (ZAC), with an area of approximately 4 ha, is the subject of a highly ambitious urban renewal project. Agreed by the National Agency for Urban Renewal (ANRU), the urban programme of Île-Marante provides for the complete demolition of the large complex and the reconstruction of a new district of 450 dwellings.
The development plan is structured around new access routes to the departmental Parc de Lagravère, which extends southwards to Avenue de l’Europe in the form of a linear park that brings open space into the heart of the new district. This park completes the series of facilities positioned along the A86 and helps to make the urban fringe of Colombes a more attractive place.
The linear park is gradually turning into a nature reserve. Located to the north of the site, a catchment basin between the new park-front structures and the A86 has been developed as a nature reserve. It presents a body of water and three islands of different sizes and shapes which recall the islands in the Seine which were lost when the motorway was built.
This space with its natural character is also acquiring an educational dimension following consultation with local residents and in response to the needs identified by the working groups in the school complexes. Some of the water-side plant species around the lake will have a purifying role. This body of water plays a vital role in the recovery of rainwater from the ZAC.
The urban renewal project at the heart of the city is an opportunity to give a new image to Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon, which today is very much dominated by the industrial landscape of Port Jérôme. Due to SEVESO-related constraints, the expanded city centre has significant potential for restructuring. Such a configuration offers an opportunity to take a sustainable development approach to the work on the heart of the city and make it a ‘green heart of the city’, embodying the same philosophy as the neighbouring garden cities.
The metamorphosis of the city centre consists of several prongs:
– Improving the image and clarity of layout of the city centre;
– Densification and urban restructuring;
– Reorganising the commercial centre;
– Improving vehicle access;
– Reorganising and increasing parking provision;
The repurposing of public spaces represents a major challenge for the heart of the city. In response to the mixed character and discontinuities of today’s public spaces, the project sought to affirm a number of public spaces that are especially visible at the heart of the city. The spatial layout of the streets is deliberately rigorous in order to assert clear physical and visual continuities that make the city easier to navigate.
The Interives district is located at the northern access into the city of Orléans. The project is being developed over a total of 110 ha, but the first phase to which this assignment relates represents 37.5 ha.
Place Danton: the heart of Interives
The centrepiece at the heart of the Interives district, Place Danton is intended as a key centre in the north of the Agglomeration.
Its development must establish it as an identifiable (and hence identity-defining) public space within the wider urban landscape.
Séquence Vinautière: natural park sequence
This nature-based section of the project is being developed at the southern entrance to the district, in relation to Rue de Joie. On a site fringed by housing programmes, the plans involve creating a relatively exuberant natural feel in order to significantly strengthen the presence of vegetation and biodiversity at the heart of the district.
Séquence Casalis: the ‘garden court’
This sequence is being deliberately developed on a more urban and dynamic section of linear park, characterised by a series of ground-floor shops and offices. Urban development on the river banks means that the public space needs to be porous and permeable in order to strengthen links between the urban banks.