The project rethinks the emblematic public spaces around Notre-Dame as a sequence of climatic atmospheres. The parvis becomes a clearing surrounded by trees, the square behind the Cathedral is enlarged towards the tip of the island, and a large new park is created along the Seine. Compressed and imbricated around the Cathedral, these spaces frame new views towards Notre-Dame, establish a new relationship with the Seine and offer new activities. The Ile de la Cité becomes the epicentre of Paris once again.
Year: 2021 – 2027
Client: Ville de Paris
Design Team: Bureau Bas Smets (mandataire), GRAU, Neufville-Gayet Architectes, Ingérop, Franck Boutté Consultants, Les Eclaireurs, BLD Waterdesign, Cronos Conseil
Images (1, 2, 3, 4, 5): Studio Alma
Image (7): Jeudi Wang
The semi-desert climate of the former industrial railway yard is transformed into a Mediterranean climate by accelerating what nature would have done over time. Planted with more than eighty thousand trees, shrubs and plants the park is made with the species of the three surrounding biotopes and connects all the buildings of the new art centre of the Luma Foundation.
Year: 2009 – 2021
Client: SCI AAI, AREA
Architect: Gehry Partners LLP, Selldorf Architects
Photographs (1, 5, 7, 10): Rémi Bénali
Photographs (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19): Iwan Baan
The former high seawall blocked both the view and the access towards the Mediterranean Sea in a beach town of Southern Albania. A sequence of sloped terraces reconnects the town with the sea and absorbs the impact of the waves much better. A linear coastal pine forest provides shade and gives a new strong identity to the Waterfront.
Year: 2015 – 2017
Client: Atelier Albania
Photographs (1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15): Michiel De Cleene
London, United Kingdom
The former mineral courtyard of a historical building in central London has been transformed into a lush garden. Measures taken on site revealed a microclimate ideal for the development of large tree ferns. Large stone slabs and a misting system complete this radical transformation, while a Franz West sculpture captures the light.
Year: 2010 – 2011
Photographs (1, 5): François Halard
The public space around a new skyscraper in the Paris La Défense business district is suspended above an urban boulevard. Alder trees are densely planted to create an urban forest. Their roots grow freely beneath a continuous granite hardscape that gives a robust identity to this plaza surrounded by glass towers.
Year: 2011 – 2020
Architect: Cro&Co Architecture
Photographs (1, 3, 12, 15): Michiel De Cleene
Design of the film set of Philippe Parreno’s “Continuously Habitable Zones”. The film depicts the landscape of an imaginary dwarf planet lit by two suns. NASA research imagines the vegetation to turn black due to exposure to a wider range of frequencies. The different interventions are transformed into a continuous landscape in the film.
Commissioned by: Daimler Art Collection & Fondation Beyeler
Director: Philippe Parreno
Cinematography: Darius Khondji
London, United Kingdom
The hanging gardens occupy the central courtyard of a boutique hotel in the centre of London. More than five hundred climbers grow in the channel beams of the suspended walkways. The plants bring a unique atmosphere to the courtyard while providing privacy towards the hotel rooms.
Client: Newman Assets
Architect: Manolo & White
Photographs: Adrien Fouéré, David Grandorge
Seventeen public plazas mark a pathway that connects many historic buildings enlisted on the UNESCO heritage list. The plazas replace disappeared buildings and introduce a new typology of a shaded public space into the dense maze in the historic city.
Client: Ministry of Culture
Architect: Office KGDVS
Five continuous lines in blue stone reveal the beautifully curved façades of this plaza. The daily market and the outdoor terraces are organised in the resulting bands made with reused blue stone pavers from the former sidewalks. A collection of trees brings colour, shade and fragrance to the plaza.
Client: Municipality of Saint-Gilles
In a natural clearing of the Sonian forest thirty-two trees have been planted around as many circular stones to commemorate the victims of the terror attacks in Brussels of 2016. The trees and stones designate a circular void in the forest, as a place for contemplation and meditation.
Year: 2016 – 2017
Client: Brussels Capital Region
Photographs: Michiel De Cleene