Team Representative: Hélène Touche (FR) – Architect Urbanist; Associates: Antoine Musard (FR)- Architect Urbanist
Contributor: Ophélie Touchard (FR) – Urbanist
H. Touche, O. Touchard & A. Musard
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
The three of us have different and varied professional backgrounds. The team was founded around Antoine and Hélène’s desire to work together, as architect-urban planners, and with a common interest in the theme "productive cities", that had already been the topic of Europan’s 14th session. Typical of current metropolitan challenges, Floirac’s proposal allowed us to explore, at different scales, a site with high potential. Then Ophélie joined the team, providing her expertise on urban environmental topics, as well as on the local context.
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?
We intended to demonstrate the value of maintaining the economic and productive purpose of the southern plain of Floirac. This assumption questions the type of this economic activity, and the conditions for the success of its maintenance. Our project is based on two strong principles : On one hand, the establishment of a complete productive ecosystem, from high added value emblematic activities to very small productive units, developing the existing site’s resources (actors and land). On the other hand, supporting the attractiveness of this economic area by enhancing the outstanding site of the Quai de la Souys, in particular with the abolition of car traffic along the Garonne in favour of new collective uses.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
Floirac holds a unique place within Bordeaux metropolis (history, position, landscape, etc.). Being able to maintain the productive activity brings with it two other issues (just as essential to the city’s development): that of its location, which has now become central in the urban area, and that of the reconquest of the Floirac’s only dock of the Garonne river. By basing our intervention on its rich network of present and past infrastructures (inherited from industrial history), the urban renewal of the Souys economic area offers a productive and innovative entrance to the city and metropolis, as well as unique docks, specific to Floirac, providing quality of life for all, increasing the attractiveness of the economic site and enhancement of local natural wealth.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
Yes, we have often dealt with this issue before, in our respective works and in various contexts, for example along the Route de la Mer in Montpellier or around the Balma Gramont area in Toulouse. These experiences raised our awareness of the issues of maintaining and developing productive economy and jobs in the heart of metropolitan areas, and of reinforced environmental requirements in these specific areas. In Floirac, this purpose is combined with the issue of the reconquest of the river’s docks, a central matter for many urban renewal project, in France as well as elsewhere. As such, the example in Nantes or the Toronto Waterfront are good references for us.
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?
On this matter, our aim is to ensure that the lasting dynamics of cooperation and emulation between local economic actors, already installed and future newcomers, large and (very) small, but also between these private companies and local communities. Beyond the usual set up of a project house, we are putting forward a lasting governance model based on pooling resources and means within a cooperative structure, in order to unsure a common, economical and sustainable management which contributes over time to the economic balance and attractiveness of the area, as well as it supports the installation of small innovative players. Thus our proposal combines the issues of governance and sustainable, ecological management.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
It’s a first for all of us to be awarded at Europan. As prize winners, we now have an opportunity to set up on our own. More broadly, this considerably enriches any professional practice of urban planning, by being part of our generation’s foresight reflection, allowing us to meet and debate with its actors (other teams, juries members….).
Functions: Architecture and Urbanism
Average age of the associates: 34 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 first competition that we’ve won as a team.