L’escargot, la méduse et le bégonia

Rochefort Océan (FR) - Winner


Team Representative: Clara Loukkal (FR) – landscaper; Associates: Benoît Barnoud (FR) – architect
Contributor: Lucie Goumain (FR) – student in architecture

28 rue du canal, 93200 Saint-Denis, France (FR)
+33624263692 - clara.loukkal@altitude35.com 

See the complete listing of portraits here
See the site page here

B. Barnoud & C. Loukkal

VIDEO (by the team)


1. How did you form the team for the competition?

Our complementary visions of urban planning and architecture –with landscape as a common denominator– have allowed us to think about urban issues through many disciplines. The team brings together the different members of Altitude 35 agency.

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?

To approach the question of a productive city means avoiding two pitfalls: one of an urban-centric vision and the other of an anthropocentric one. Manufactured and industrial artefacts alone cannot embody the productive dimension of an entire territory. The awareness of agricultural and energy production make them part of the estuary and the city's metabolism.Then, to suppose that production only comes under human activity is a truncated vision. A significant part of the production is - at least in part - external to it: sediment supply, greenhouse gas production, carbon production or storage by plants, etc.


3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?

The city of Rochefort has built a singular link to natural history. A major dockyard, the city was the starting and return point for many scientific expeditions between the 18th and 19th centuries. The imported exotic essences were acclimatized there before to be transported to Paris, to provide the National Museum of Natural History's researches. From Pierre Loti to Jacques Demi, Rochefort has retained this exotic and marine character. Pliny the Elder in his Natural History - updated by Buffon eighteen centuries later - delivers a valuable analysis framework in term of contemporary issues. Beyond these historical aspects, the method of the project by natural history is here effective. At the interface of marine and terrestrial ecosystem, between saline and alkaline water, this territory presents a great environmental diversity and consequently of resources, uses, initiatives, and project potentials.


4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?

The threefold ecological, climatic and energy transition implies redefining the modalities of intervention of landscapers, ubanists and architects. In order to meet these imperatives, reflection must tend towards greater transversality with short, medium and long-term results objectives. Thus, agriculture, the industrial fabric, the mobility system and the city, previously considered as autonomous disciplines, are now seen by the territorial metabolism as a whole. At Moulins and Rochefort, the agency is developing a project protocol informed by recent advances in the understanding of ecosystems (P. Duvigneaud) and territorial ecology (S. Barles). To respond to the risk of marine submersion, a series of prototypes are being tested over time. River erosion phenomena and plant dynamics are tested in different combinations and then evaluated to provide feedback to the project.This fine observation of natural erosion phenomena is in line with Michel Desvigne's work in his elementary gardens.


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 metabolic approach offers a global and aggregative vision who is dealing with both humans and natural environment. It studies its interrelationships and underlines the mutual services that are established between the inhabitants and their environment. To reconcile human development and environments preservation, Natural History invites us to turn aside the look, to consider humans in the world and no longer against it. The Anthropocene or « era of human », an act of this co-evolution of natural ecosystems and societies

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 third time that the two partners of Altitude 35 have been designated winners of the Europan competition. 

  • Winner Europan 15 Rochefort site
  • Winner europan 14 Besançon site
  • Winner europan 13 Moulins-sur-Allier site



Office: Altitude 35
Functions: Landscape, architecture, urban planning
Average age of the associates: 30 years old

Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?

This is the third time that the two partners of Altitude 35 have been designated winners of the Europan competition. The agency was designated winner during the sessions: Europan 13 on the Moulins-sur-Allier site and Europan 14 on the site of the La Bouloie campus in Besançon. These two competitions enabled the agency to win several urban studies and public space project management projects. It is currently working on the follow-up to the competition in Besançon, but also on the requalification of the Porte de la Villette in Paris (MGAU representative), the media village for the Olympic Games (Anyoji Beltrando representative), the reconfiguration of the Place Gambetta in Liévin, the reopening of the Croult Valley in Goussainville, etc. The agency has just won as a representative the call for tenders for the creation of a workshop for local territories launched by the Ministry of Sustainable Development as well as the project management of the public spaces of the La Bouloie campus in Besançon.