Located in the northwest of Paris, this region sits just inside the Boulevard Peripherique – a motorway ring road that circles the city. Locked between this busy motorway to the north and busy train lines to the south, this site suffers a lot of noise pollution and urban disconnection. The area is further severed by the 4 lane Boulevard MacDonald which bisects the area and further isolates each half of the site. Consequently, the proposed masterplan first addressed these issues in an attempt to unify the site and improve the area’s attractiveness to suburban habitation.
A mixed zoning scheme of commercial, business, civic, cultural and residential units were proposed for the area with a strong focus on land and building masses to address current environmental factors. The Boulevard MacDonald that divides the area is sunken below ground to accommodate pedestrian friendly movement across the new parklands at the heart of the scheme. All vehicular parking will be confined to an underground car park which will be home to one of the first sizable electric car recharge stations in Paris. ‘Velib’ Outlets (free bicycle scheme) will be placed in select locations to facilitate access to free transport within the region. Massing plans for future developments on the north and south fringes of the site strongly recommend convex façade forms to dispel and reflect noise pollution from the traffic arteries that pass the area. Heavy planting of tress and acoustics baffles in these regions also work toward alleviating the noise levels penetrating the site.
Positive attributes of the area are also highlighted upon and embraced. The scenic Saint Martin Canal on the eastern edge of the site is marked out as an area of leisure and relaxation. A new plaza that borders the water will provide an open space to accommodate for water festivals, the loading and unloading of water vessels and doubles as a space for a fish and farmer’s market during the year. As part of the Greater Paris Plan, a proposed tram system will pass through and stop at the heart of the scheme, travelling along the only greenway along its journey in both directions for some time.