Location City of Angers, North Saint-Serge – Gaston Ramon Boulevard
Population City of Angers: 151,000 inhab., Angers Loire Métropole: 270,000 inhab.
Strategic site 180 ha – Project site 80 ha
Site proposed by Angers Loire Métropole, City of Angers, AURA (Urban Planning agency for the Angevine region), ALTER (SPL Anjou Loire Territoire a public development corporation)
Actors involved Angers Loire Métropole, City of Angers, AURA, ALTER, ALDEV (Agency of Economic Development of Angevine Region), private owners
Owner of the site private and public owners
Post-competition phase workshops, urban and/or architectural study and/or project to initiate with partners
Team representative architect, uban planner, lanscaper
How can the site contribute to the productive city?
The site is healthy and has maintained a diversity of activities at the entrance to the city centre: a food sector (M.I.N.), large-scale retailers and wholesale and retail trade, a concrete production site, and many other companies, but also an association, the Cité des solidarités, and a concert hall. The rational of the old manufacturing areas and remains of an industrial past permit a progressive hybridized development between existing uses and new forms of production. The risk of flooding restricts land use, affects new development and poses the question of adaptability and the recovery of flood-risk areas for production. The configuration of the site and its position at the heart of the municipality offers an opportunity to combine news ways of living, working, producing and consuming.
The area’s economic role was confirmed in 2014. Its attractiveness will be strengthened by the mobilisation of the private sector implicated in future developments. By maintaining M.I.N., developing a new interchange and considering the many variable-use spaces that are under-used or soon to be vacated, this future entrance to the metropolitan area is a privileged site for imagining an active, innovative, negotiated city. The community expects process-oriented projects related to pragmatic intentions (rather than a master plan) as a means of exploring new forms of mixed-use and renewing the urban planning and architectural quality of the site. A progressive transformation (in space and time) could begin from several different experimental locations. EUROPAN’s approach will further enrich both the Angers Cœur de Maine and Monplaisir urban projects.
The site presents the characteristic landscape of commercial areas and major infrastructures developed in the twentieth century. In 2008, the opening of the A11 northern bypass helped start a process of renewal for the riverbanks and improving the Saint Serge sector (Cœur de Maine project) . The Europan project site centres on Gaston Ramon Boulevard that connects the social housing district of Monplaisir to the Maine. The site benefits from the proximity of the banks of the Sarthe and Maine rivers and the Tournerie kitchen gardens, accessible north of the site via the abandoned railway. This access remains, however, confidential. This area close to the city centre is in large part at risk of flooding from the Maine River and subject to the Natural Risk Prevention Plan (PPRN).
How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?
Several ways of hybridisation respond to specific actors rational:
Interface between the city and food-sector logistics and distribution: how to spatially organise mixe-use and new activities next to M.I.N? Is it possible to coordinate regional logistics, local production and local services? How to take advantage of time shifts (occupation and use) on a large commercial site?
Interface between the entrance to the city and industrial production: what forms of cohabitation can be developed between the new interchange, the social-housing district and the concrete production site? How to take advantage of little-used areas? How to rethink an industrial production site, taking into consideration the issues of pollution and constructability?
Urban and architectural qualities of industrial sites in an urban environment: what urban and architectural redevelopment proposals are there for an old but still very active industrial site that take into account new ways of living and working. What processes can be initiated that would motivate projects by the companies themselves?
Transit routes vs. productive, neglected ways vs. public spaces: a new interchange and development of a new entrance to the urban centre is an opportunity to rethink the role of Gaston Ramon Boulevard, to redeploy in space and time activities and urban or commercial facades in a logic of openness and continuity of uses from the Monplaisir district to the banks of the Maine.
Questions on the site
What is our freedom degree regarding the project as it is located on various plots owned by different actors ?
The project must actually show evolution possibilities that would associate private owners. Various plots are owned by the collectivity (see site brief)
What is the planned evolution regarding the Fours à Chaux site ?
The Fours à Chaux site will be vacated in short-term. Its future is actually one of the competition's subjects (see site brief)
Are some developments on the project site definitive (like the A11 sliproad project) ? What about the integration of the strategic site regarding the Grether project on Saint-Serge part ? Can we suggest modifications to foster our own project integration ?
The realisation of the motorway interchange must be considered with the sliproads design but this will be developed after 2025. The guide plan, undertaken by Grether agency, sets out the main principles. Europan teams have the possibility to offer complementary proposals regarding the project sites and in relation with the session's theme. It doesn't mean redesigning a general development plan (see site brief).