Team Representative: Clémentine Caron (FR) – architect
Associate: Malik Darmayan (FR) – architect
Le28 Architectes, 28 rue d'Oran, 75018 Paris (FR)
+33 674170163 – firstname.lastname@example.org – levingthuit-architectes.com
M. Darmayan & C. Caron
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1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The agency « Le28 Architectes » was created in the early 2017. We (Clémentine Caron and Malik Darmayan) met in our first year at the architecture school but the creation of our structure only occurred after 8 years working in architecture agencies. Our mixed and complementary backgrounds have enabled us to acquire a great deal of knowledge in the field of architecture. For a long period of time, we have yearned to participate at Europan. It seemed to be ideal to firstly participate in this session as an introduction to our future collaboration.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
In our case, the main question was to integrate the decreasing neighbourhood activity back to the city life. The industrial site of Montières is, today, in the inner centre of Amiens. Even if it was not the case originally, the city has grown for years and has developed all around the site. The two entities (city and activities) have not been able to mingle, at all, throughout the years and a clear border has been drawn and can be seen as soon as you arrive on the site. To us, it was clear that the main action would be to rub out smoothly this border integrating the city into Montières’ neighbourhood, which is still in a partial activity. We wanted to transform Montières into a living area in continuity with the centre: through the creation of the diversification uses and the implementation of animated places (market place, sports and leisure areas), housing and small offices areas, as well as the development and redefinition of the waterfront.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
The aim of this project is to support the city in its desire to revitalize its image, its economical and touristic dynamism through the conversion of Montières activity area via development and attractiveness tools. The objective was not to plan a tremendous transformation and implement a masterplan ignoring the past, but to initiate, through few targeted actions, and reach Montières’ ambition to a smooth urban transition. Specifically the emblematic industrial heritage buildings of Montières were identified to constitute the support of a new network of public spaces interconnected with the existing city. The creation of new thematic centralities will take part of the identity of Amiens and its history by hosting three places tools of urban transition.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Europan 14 is our first experience at the urban scale but we untimely think that our architectural culture enables us to develop projects at any scale. We are used to practice architecture on different typologies, scales and circumstances. We worked on this project as if it was an architectural project. We started gathering needs from the user, we read a lot about the city of Amiens, about previous projects that have been planed in the city, and we mixed it with our own analysis of the site and different potentials to create a unique project. For this project, we were inspired by the capacity of certain cities to redefine the identity of their riverbanks. Rivers have always been an economical actor for cities. Historically used for transportation, others potentials must be exploited to redefine the identity of the future Amiens. This topic has been the triggering factor of our brainstorm.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
The all project “Les rives éveillées” has been thought around a sedimentary development of Montières’ neighbourhood. Project development must be part of a global approach initiated by a few targeted actions. In order to settle into the site's history and geography, the elements that make up the site's DNA will be identified and valued. Our action will initially focus on a few structuring operations of the project such as the valorization of certain elements of the heritage of the “Amiènois” or the development of wharves and infrastructure. Once this backdrop is established, an induced evolution of the neighborhood will have to take place naturally. Around the existing and ongoing activities, new programs will be created to promote a programmatic mix, currently lacking in the neighborhood. This backdrop must be rightly inhabited in order to structure a lively neighbourhood where activity, living and working in close proximity to housing and facilities, surrounds public and shared spaces. Indeed, in this production area in partial operation, it is essential to balance the mix of uses.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
This is the first time that our collective has run for Europan. First of all, we hope the project will have a life after the competition. This type of project is a potential for working on a new scale, but also a way to promote our new agency. We selected the site of Amiens because of the context, which immediately inspired us, but also because of the presentation of the project leader who demonstrates Amiens City’s will to continue the project after the competition.