Weaving Energies

Grigny & Ris-Orangis - Winner


Team Representative: Julia Lenoir (FR) – architect
Associates: Guillaume Duranel (FR) – urbanist architect; Frédéric Blaise (FR) – architect
Contributor: Robin Apolit (FR) – wood engineer, specialist in renewable energies & methanisation 

Alt, 183 Rue Saint Maur, 75010 Paris (FR)

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F. Blaise, G. Duranel, J. Lenoir & R. Apolit 


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

We already worked together on Europan 13 Adaptable City 2 on the site of Goussainville (FR) where we received a special mention. Since, we decided to continue our collaboration. It was therefore normal to candidate with the same team on the 14th session of Europan. Once it appeared clear that renewable energies would be at the center of our project for this session, we asked Robin Apolite to join us to benefit from his expertise.

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?

Our approach consists of weaving spatial actions with programmatic and economical strategies. We developed two sides of the Productive City: a professional training and a production of renewable energies within urban area. The proposal focuses on existing resources on the site and weaves them in order to both transform the urban spaces and the economic fabric of the territory. The economical programing emerges from a sustainable territorial strategy and a professional training program built in coherence with the territory.


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

Our proposal directly emerges from the "already there" on the Terre Saint Lazare. The cities of Grigny and Ris-Orangis are developing an urban heat network fueled by geothermal power as a way to face the problematics of Grigny 2 and control the cost of energy in the future. This strategy appears promising for it addresses socio spatial problematics with both a technical solution and a long-term vision. We aimed at generalizing this attitude by promoting the production of renewable energies within an urban areas as a way to renew them and offer job opportunities to local inhabitants.
This strategy takes two shapes:
- Local actions: creation of a training center, a pyro-gasification unit, a pilot program for businesses linked to renewable energies.
- Transversal actions: implementation of pedestrian connection between the Moulin à Vent, the Terre Saint Lazare and Grigny 2 that prefigures the Urban Energies Park.



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

Even if renewable energies production in urban spaces is at high stake today, it is the first time that we treat this issue. However, our method combining spatial actions with programmatic and economical approaches is common to most of the urban project that we work on. For instance, with the previous session of Europan "the adaptable city 2", we already developed the theme of the productive city.

Eco boulevard, Vallecas, Madrid
Jade Eco Park, Taichun Taiwan, Philippe Rahm

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?

Our project aims at continuing the cooperation already in place between the cities of Grigny and Ris-Orangis when they developed the geothermal well and when they subscribed to participate at the 14th sessiob of Europan. "Weaving the Energies" takes what has been already worked on as a starting point to take it further with an operational tool the "Resources platform". It creates a negotiation space to gather the resources, the energies and the knowledge present on site. With the collaboration of the EPFFI, we imagined the "Resources platform" as a land management tool helping innovative entrepreneurships.

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

On our first participation in 2015 at Europan, our project was awarded with a special mention. Today, we are working with the other winning teams to develop a project on the old town of Goussainville (FR). Thanks to this opportunity, we are now creating our own studio, alt (architecture, link, territory) and are involved in both urban and architectural projects. After two Europan sessions, the innovative approaches that we were able to develop there is now part of the DNA of our methods. We also continue to develop an experimental approach by taking part in urban and architectural researches and different types of expertise. Europan has been an incredible help, giving us our first public contract, bringing credit and visibility to an approach we are believing to be fundamental in today's urban planning : a pragmatic approach combining spatial, programmatic and economical features.