La Compagnie du Paysage: At the foot of the Pont de Normandie, near Honfleur, a new business park is being created. Ecological, sustainable and perfectly integrated into the landscape of the Seine estuary, Calvados-Honfleur Business Park is innovative in more ways than one. Since 2012, it has been home to the only outlet village in the Grand Ouest region.
Honfleur, a village of fishermen and painters, has long been isolated at the mouth of the Seine – beloved of tourists but neglected by businesses. The construction of the Pont de Normandie bridge has changed all this: Honfleur now occupies a central position in France’s Grand Ouest region, where it is excellently served by all means of transport and close to two of the largest ports in Europe. The port of Le Havre, the number two French port with 6,633 incoming vessels in 2007, has just inaugurated its Port 2000 container terminal, thus boosting the economic competitiveness of the entire region. The port of Rouen, meanwhile, has simply expanded its development as far as Honfleur: its timber terminals are located on either sides of the Pont de Normandie, fringing the business park.
In response to the economic advantages generated by the Pont de Normandie and the development of the ports, the various local public actors quickly joined forces to seize the opportunity and transform the existing Poudreux business park on the banks of the Seine into a large new-generation business park with the potential to become the showcase for the department’s economic development. The General Council of Calvados, the City of Honfleur, the Autonomous Port of Rouen and the Pays d’Auge Chamber of Commerce and Industry formed a joint syndicate to create the Calvados Honfleur Business Park. SHEMA, a semi-public regional development company, was responsible for the development of an area of 125 ha, corresponding to land reclaimed in the Seine estuary before its current containment.
Showcasing the department also means showcasing the environment and the architectural heritage. Located near Honfleur city centre and the nature zone east of the Pont de Normandie, the business park must meet stringent environmental and architectural requirements. A global and integrated approach was thus taken to the project, similar to that of the eco-industrial business parks which are becoming more common in Canada, the United States and Portugal.
The architecture of the site and future buildings will play its part in the environmental ecosystem through the widespread use of green roofs and of wood in all its forms in the site development and construction. Energy savings will be encouraged through the use of renewable energies, selective waste management on the construction sites and non-motorised transport.
The park has been designed as a coherent whole, both in terms of the site development programme and the introduction of future structures. An ambitious set of specifications will guide the design of business structures, with the aim of creating an architecture of correspondence, relationship and dialogue. The existing industrial zone will be overhauled to ensure its continuity with the future urban and landscape complex.
With its tertiary business area, logistics park, high-end shopping centre with community services, crèche, hotels and restaurants, the Calvados-Honfleur Business Park is far removed from the industrial zones of the 20th century. Various categories of user will circulate on the site, attracted by the shops of the Outlet Village or coming to work at the various companies established in the zone. The network of pedestrian paths and cycle tracks designed on a municipal scale and the business park’s integration in the public transport network will ensure the use of alternative modes of travel to the car.
The integration of the Calvados-Honfleur Business Park into its environment is based above all on its compositional axes. From the roundabout at the entrance to the zone, the main axis points towards the second pillar of the Pont de Normandie, the site’s architectural emblem. The network of public spaces create a connection between the park and the middle of the estuary by means of views over the Seine and the slopes of the surrounding landscape, while a green corridor at the centre of the park links the two nature zones to the east and west. A distinctive presentational approach has been used for the entrance to the park and the first few shop windows.
Rainwater treatment and retention are two important factors in flood prevention during storms. The ditches and pools have been interpreted as assets for the urban landscape of the Calvados-Honfleur Business Park, with a belvedere platform overlooking the green corridor, ditches alongside the roads and pedestrian paths and so on.
The rainwater retention system manages more than 200,000 m3 of water. The ground plan and levelling have been designed to keep the infrastructure dry even in the event of a hundred-year flood.
Landscape Architects: La Compagnie du Paysage
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Stéphane Plisson (architect and urban planner), Aktis (architect), Viamap (roads and utilities), Antea (environment), Inno (programme manager)
Contracting authority: Syndicat Mixte du Parc d’Activités Calvados Honfleur (SHEMA)
Project location: Honfleur, France
Area: 130 hectares
Works budget: €25m excl. tax
Design year: 2007/2009
Year Built: 2010/ongoing