Montreuil (93) ZAC Boissière-Acacia
Ville de Montreuil, EPFif, Est Ensemble
Concours lauréat, projet en cours
The site in Montreuil questions about the future of a neighborhood of which a large amount of its inhabitants works and lives in a plateau known as Haut Montreuil, with activities that range from logistics to craftsmanship. With the upcoming extension of the metro line, a new tramway and plans for integrating the city within the broader Parisian metropolis, known as Grand Paris, how can high density harmoniously coexist with local history and socioeconomic particularities of this small neighborhood?
Serendipity of Fields (Clef des Champs) is the name of our project, which proposes a new urban thread that takes the shape of landscape connections and urban agriculture. Likewise, the city follows a rationale where “empty spaces” define how dense “built spaces” should be. These landscape connections become the backbone from which the urban tissue stems from by developing this principle over three different scales.
The first landscape extends to the scale of the city of Montreuil. Taking advantage from the envisaged dismantling of highway 186, of which part will be liberated for the upcoming tramway, our project aims to preserve this opportunity to create a Linear Forest, instead of simply extending the city over the new plots.
This space will allow a new ecosystem to develop. It will recycle rainwater from the higher plateau and also become a space of conviviality between two parts of Montreuil that until now have been disconnected from each other. The Linear Forest extends for two kilometers and reaches Montreau park, extending over about 6 hectares. In order to compensate the free space we chose to preserve, the city blocks along the park will be highly dense, as Signac block exemplifies.
The second landscape takes the scale of the neighborhood in haut Montreuil. We propose to revalue the inner part of fragmented blocks, some of which are in a dire state, by connecting them according to a North-South axis that is concealed within the site and allows connections between the neighborhood and transit stations to be made. Neighboring streets will be overhauled in order for fast connections to take place and create parking lots, thus liberating spaces within the city blocks that should have a new network of soft circulation corridors.
The Natural Corridor extends from Boissière block, next to the metro station, all the way to the Linear Forest, going through alleys that give access to individual houses, abandoned areas next to social housing buildings and existing playgrounds. This path is followed by a small water channel that leads rainwater to the Linear Forest. It expands according to the spaces it connects, becoming playgrounds, meeting areas or spaces for cultural activities.
A second natural corridor connects new urban projects with Serendipity of Fields. From the Boissière-Acacia neighborhood in the North, the corridor goes through the Roches block and sports courts next to Saint-Antoine-Murs-à-Pêches neighborhood and the new ecologic swimming pool.
The Third Landscape extends to the scale of the block itself. According to investigations over the traces left by historical horticulture in the neighborhood, we could use different plot-schemes to revalue the local urban tissue, inscribed in the neighborhood’s DNA, thus creating natural pathways between blocks.
Crossing fields are created in between existent buildings and structure the evolution of future constructions and their density. Social bonds are cherished with a culture that values local shopping. These fields are an answer to the question of what the city should become within the Grand Paris scheme, by combining density with permaculture.
Existing activity buildings are restructured or rebuilt in order to create space to planted swathes that cross the plots and social and individual housing are added above a volume dedicated to activities. A new type of shared ownership is proposed by grouping entrepreneurs, residents and permaculture aiming virtuous exchanges that favor collective activates, energy recycling and social bonds.