The Grand Voyeux Regional Nature Reserve is a man made park, 40 km from Paris, which has taken shape over thirty years with the quarrying of gravel pits on the banks of the Marne. This complex project’s strategy distanced itself from the usual didactic development standards for natural environments, in a bid to recover a barely healed landscape, in order to open it up to a wider public. Camouflaging is required to ensure the readjustment of the landscape is discreet.
The project, inspired by stilts, enables comfortable mobility through wetlands without marking the ground. The route is built using two complementary systems: light wood decking and a vegetal tunnel. The decking is stretched in its general geometry and reinforced by strategic observatories. The pipe is supported by native vegetation, concealing hikers.
The observatories, chrysalises made of canvas, laid on the rustling phragmites, provide unexpected and captivating refuges for bird watchers. These shapes hide visitors from the birds, allowing animal watching in exceptional comfort.
Landscape architect: TERRITOIRES
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Charles-Henri Tachon architect (reserve house), Nicolas Granger designer (birdwatching stool)
Project location: Congis-sur-Thérouanne, Seine et Marne, France
Design year: 2012-2014
Year Built: 2015-2017
Image credits: Nicolas Waltefaugle
Awards: The Grand Voyeux project won the ADC awards