After winning a competition commissioned by the Public Urban Planning Agency of Saint-Etienne (France), the CollectifETC designed a public square of 670 sq. m. and built it with the inhabitants in a participative process in July 2011.
At the intersection of two streets, the site was formerly a wasteland. Answering the on-going urban changes in the neighborhood, the project simulates a first step of the process in which a building is designed and built. The idea is to figure the plan of imaginary housings on the ground and their section on the wall. In this way people can be made to experience living in a virtual building and imagine the impact of the real one that is programmed in a couple of years.
Ella & Pitr. Le géant de la gare. by ellapitr
CollectifETC is an association composed of young architects who mainly collaborates with graphic and landscape designers. It believes in the creative capacity of every citizen. In order to make this project, three types of workshops have been set
up and opened to the public :
– A joinery and carpentry workshop to build all the urban furniture
– An urban graphic design workshop in order to give life to the imaginary housings and to the walled-up buildings.
– A landscape and gardening workshop to lay out the green space and shared garden in the center.
Every day for one month, the building site was opened to the public and people could exchange and learn from each other. Some local associations, artists or musicians were specially invited to help organizing many activities like wall paintings, concerts, circus skills workshops, open air cinemas, sports tournaments, tango lessons, special meals, round table discussions… An online blog illustrates the everyday life of the building site : http://www.placeauchangement.fr
The works are now over. A water tank is available and some local people had the initiative to continue to take care of the garden themselves and organize small events. Next November, CollectifEtc will be back to help planting trees and to study the appropriation of the new public space.