In 2021, the “project for the resurgence of the Petite Saussaie source, project management for the development of a green link in « priority geography » brings back one of the historic sources of Vitry-sur-Seine. Previously buried and piped, the spring water now flows in the open air following its course over 150 meters in the public space of Vitry-sur-Seine.

The descent of the water in the Seine valley is the subject of a sculpture-fountain, an aerial aqueduc which forms the framework of two new public spaces.

Water rises ground falls – The aqueduc raises water within sight, hearing and touch. The water remains horizontal as often and as long as possible and, conducted by the aqueduct, leaves the ground of the hill several times. It adopts the rhythm of the overflows, sings at the foot of the gargoyles before falling in a rustle into a basin or resurfacing in gurgling in the middle of a table of water. The optical games of water-mirror and the sound events of water-music form an aesthetic device that structures public spaces.

Water tames topography – The route of the aqueduc is that of the framework of a new topography. On a ground with an average inclination of 12%, the flat surface is essential for sharing spaces and urbanity. Continuous, the line of the aqueduct masters the slopes in favor of passable areas (landings, terraces, plateaus). Depending on the spaces crossed, it becomes a culvert, retaining wall or railing.

The water transports a landscape – As you descend the hillside, the water transports the landscapes of dozens of willows, wet gardens, aquatic plants, elongated basins or pebble shores. The multiplicity of places crossed are unified by the continuous gravity flow of water from the Petite Saussaie spring. The continuity of the water is a transverse force which crosses the watertight compartments of the zoning. By the hydraulic system, the places are brought into tune with the geographical scale.
The resurgence of the spring of the Petite Saussaie, buried more than 90 years ago, reinstalls the public space in an obvious relationship to the history of Vitry-sur-Seine. The plantations reinstall the Saulaie which gave its name to the street and the spring (“Saussaie” designates a willow grove, that is to say a land planted with willows). The stems of the willows that were grown there were used to make baskets useful for the harvest of the vines that occupied this hillside.

The places of the project, previously vaguely undifferentiated, now have a singular identity evocative of their historical and geographical dimension.

Project Data

Landscape architecture: paysarchitectures

Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Marie Pire La source co-contractor

Project location: Vitry-sur-Seine, France

Year completed: 2021

Photo credits: Pierre-Yves Brunaud (PYB)

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