Lost Highway – (L)earning from A87

Champigny-s/-Marne (FR) - Winner


Team Representative: Guillaume Barnavon (FR) – architect

16 rue Hoche, 93170 Bagnolet (FR)
+33 6 98 93 24 31 - g.barnavon@gmail.com

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G. Barnavon

VIDEO (by the team)


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

Having already studied this site and its large territory for my degree in architecture in 2013, I went back into this work regarding the contextual transformations that have occurred until today.

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?

The A87 motorway is a project for a third motorway ring road planned in Paris in the 1960s. As this overall project has never been completed, it was finally abandoned in the 1980s. By the East of Paris (from the commune of Sucy, via Ormesson, Chennevières, Champigny sur Marne and the commune of Villiers) a piece of territory is crossed by a corridor of land that has remained frozen for this unfinished project. These pending lands create a surprising and singular bio-productive void in this dense peripheral area. It results in an exceptional metropolitan garden phenomenon on this scale.


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

Today, the various parcels that make up this lost highway are the support of isolated urban development projects. This urbanization process should develop around a bus line (TCSP) that crosses this axis longitudinally (thus linking two future stations of the Grand Paris). The project proposed is an alternative to this process. Instead of removing this void through a sprawl effect, we seek to intensify it through a project of territorial scope. We propose to create a metropolitan garden that would become an intercommunal backbone based on the system of Sensitive Natural Areas (ENS) in force in the Val-de-Marne. Around this green lung the project of public transport by bus (linking the two stations of Grand Paris) would develop, but this time in a transversal way to make it dialogue with its close environment.


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

The preservation of natural spaces in cities appears to be a major concern for the inhabitants of urban areas. This is evidenced by the events at the Taksim-Gezi Park in Istanbul (TR) in 2013, the cancellation of the EuropaCity project in the Gonesse Triangle (FR) or the preservation of the bocage of Notre Dame des Landes in Nantes (FR). The setting up since 1990 of the Sensitive Natural Spaces (ENS) scheme in the Val-de-Marne is also an illustration of attempts to answer this concern. “This departmental competence aims to preserve, reclaim and develop sites of outstanding and/or threatened ecological and/or landscape interest, or natural fields of flood expansion.” The 13 Sensitive Natural Spaces in the region are therefore as many reference projects to imagine the enhancement of the A87 land.


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?

This project aims to deal with the opportunities and surprises that make up the urban environment. By focusing on the initiatives of anonymous and less anonymous actors that follow one another over time, it seeks to highlight a corpus of productive misuses that take place on these lands and that constitute a source of potential futures for this territory.

6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?

The project "Bondy's Count" was awarded at the Europan13 session.



Office: /
Functions: Architect
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?

With Studio Dièse: Production of an urban study for the Mise en Parc of Paris La Défense (with L.G. mandataire); Europan 13 winner with the project "Bondy's Count"; Mentioned project for the Svratka Riverfront competition with the project "Resist is not enough"; Participant in two editions of the Diep~haven contemporary art festival; Invitations from the PortNord collective to create installations in the industrial port of Chalon-sur-Saône; Construction of micro-architecture for the Royal cinema in Montpellier; Series of research on the night-time metropolis of Ile-de-France, on the city of Athens, on video games & architecture.
We are currently carrying out architecture pedagogical residencies in schools.