Rochefort Océan (FR)


Project scale XL/L - territory / urban + architecture

Location The strategic site concerns three communities (Rochefort-sur-Mer, Echillais, Saint Hyppolyte), project sites are in one community

Population Rochefort 25,000 inhabitants (approx.), 3 communities 30,000 inhabitants

Strategic site 940 ha - Project site 4 sites from 10 to 40 ha 

Site proposed by Rochefort Océan inter-communal area, the city of Rochefort, Syndicat Mixte du Port de Commerce (joint public venture), STELIA Aerospace

Actors involved Rochefort Océan inter-communal area, the city of Rochefort, commercial port, STELIA Aerospace and the government

Owner of the site Rochefort Océan inter-communal area, the city of Rochefort, Syndicat Mixte du Port de Commerce (joint public venture), STELIA Aerospace and the government

Commission after competition Landscape analysis of the study site; urban analyses and development programmes for the project sites.

Team representative Architect - urbanist - landscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to a productive city?

The city of Rochefort-sur-Mer, founded in 1666 by Charles Colbert du Terron in marshlands, gave the Kingdom of France a port for the construction of its military fleet. This activity remained the driving economic force in the territory until the Arsenal was closed in 1927. However, an economy related to navigation and military needs has continued with production activities related to maritime commerce and aeronautics. In addition, an outstanding architectural and urban planning uniformity as well as remarkable buildings (i.e. Corderie Royale) within proximity of exceptional natural sites has allowed the city to develop a significant tourist trade. The four project sites are oriented towards the river and were in activity when the Arsenal was still functioning. Whether currently in full activity or partial, the goal is to allow their transformation within the framework of an exceptional geographic, environmental and architectural heritage while taking into consideration the risks from flooding of the meandering Charente River.

Inter-Communal strategy

In order to maintain and develop territorial production, the Rochefort Océan inter-communal area has begun several ambitious development projects for three strategic cornerstones of the economy: industry (currently 20% of jobs), logistics (commercial port development) and tourism (natural and architectural qualities of the territory). This is taking place mainly on three large-scale operations located along the Charente River: a tourist project on the former Arsenal site, an extension and reorganisation of the Arsenal industrial zone and an extension to the commercial port. For these sites to evolve over long-term, better integrate their natural and built heritage and anticipate the effects of flooding similar to those of cyclone Xynthia, the Rochefort Océan inter-communal area is looking for resourceful, innovative solutions for the following four sites: Arsenal industrial zone, commercial port, a small park and a horticultural area.

Site definition

The strategic site runs along the Charente from the transporter bridge to the suspension bridge, each of these connecting the two banks of the river. This site includes:
- On the right bank, from west to east: the Martrouts retail area, Fourrier business park, historic town centre of Rochefort, the railway station, marina, commercial port, Vacherie business park and single-family housing on the edge of town, then a nature area that extends to Quai de la Liberation in Tonnay Charente, the historic town centre of Tonnay Charente and finally single-family houses to the suspension bridge.
- On the left bank, from east to west: the suspension bridge, a site that includes vast marshlands, as well as an old pit for storing masts in salt-water pools and finally an area of single-family houses near the transporter bridge.

How is production inserted in the urban diversity programme?

Productive areas that anticipate flooding
The risk of flooding needs to be evaluated over the entire study site and more specifically on the individual project sites where technical solutions are needed to control rising waters and/or productive activities found that are compatible with coastal flooding.
Use the architectural, geographical and environmental heritage as a resource for productive areas
How can a project site’s heritage be used to benefit the site and its productive activities while remaining coherent with the entire study site? The challenge is to take a site’s heritage and make it a «living» heritage focusing on uses compatible and coherent with the site’s activity.
Increase permeability between a working and a living city
Although the industrial sites need to be closed to public for security reasons, visual and functional links between these «working» and «living» areas are excessively limited despite their proximity. What physical, visual and functional connections could exist between the sites and their immediate environment?
Use mobility to connect sites
All the sites have parking and traffic issues. Europan competition is an opportunity to investigate new types of access and medium-term solutions to these problems. Beyond this functional aspect, it is also an opportunity to question how to reinforce connections between sites.


Project site 1: commercial port
Project site 2: the small park
Project site 3: Arsenal industrial zone
Project site 4: the horticultural area

Questions on the site

Bonjour, quand sera-t-il possible d'avoir accès à un fichier cartographique (format dxf ou autre) servant de base à nos réflexions et dessins de projet ?

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