SLA and Biecher Architectes win competition for transformation old central railway site with Jardin Mécano

Jardin Mécano

SLA and Biecher Architectes, together with developers Emerige and Ogic, have won the international competition to develop the 3,7-hectare former railway site of Ordener-Poissonniers into a new mixed-use ‘ecosystem neighborhood’ neighborhood in Paris, France. The team’s winning project for “Jardin Mécano” (“Mechanical Garden”) creates a new urban ecosystem by preserving the site’s remarkable industrial heritage while adding an abundance of green, nature-based public spaces and carbon neutral architecture, creating a socially sustainable urban development for the heart of the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

The programming of the new neighborhood will include a mix of social (50 %), intermediate (20 %) and private housing (30 %) for 1000 new residents and 36,500 m2 of industrial design, arts, food and tech; including a new public school with cultural and artistic education, training school in digital technical professions promoting integration, a graduate school of design, offices (13,800 m²), and industrial design incubator for SME, a 9-screen cinema complex, a theater, a food court, shops and services, urban farming and traffic flow solutions prioritized for pedestrians and bicycles.

A green generous gift for Paris
The heart of the neighborhood will be a series of connected green public spaces with outdoor restaurants, amphitheaters, band stands, and a large public garden of more than one hectare of natural amenities. The public spaces reinterpret the traditional Paris cityscape and strengthen the values and the qualities of the original railway site. As such they reuse its central atmospheres, materialities, topologies and elements such as railway tracks, a trolley ferry trench, railway signals and other industrial remains to create a distinct and unique urban quality specific to the Ordener-Poissonniers site.

Clean air and strong social bonds
The green public spaces are designed to offer a free, common good for residents, workers and visitors alike. Placed in the densely populated 18th arrondissement, the public spaces will act as a green lung for the neighborhood and provide ecosystem services such as cleaning of air pollution, natural urban cooling, cloudburst management, strengthened biodiversity, stronger social integration and diversity.

The public spaces will optimize the local microclimate all year round, making the neighborhood a better and more healthy place to live and work. The public spaces are designed to maintain as much as possible of the post-industrial atmosphere, softened by a whole new set of layers such as vegetation, stocks and lighting to enhance utility, atmosphere and the convenience of the public garden.

The result is a reinforced green and blue urban environment that favors the colonization of the site by animal species such as birds, insects, pollinators, bees and small wildlife. Finally, to promote the knowledge and understanding of the importance of biodiversity, a local “Digital Garden” app will be developed, allowing the users of the site to discover and learn about the wealth of local biodiversity via their smartphone.

Carbon neutral architecture
The entire form of the new Ordener-Poissonniers will be optimized with regards to sun/wind to reconcile energy sobriety and quality of life for the future users. The spatial organization of the buildings favors the recovery of free solar inputs and natural ventilation while preserving views to the large landscape for all residents. The result is a state-of-the-art sustainable architecture and neighborhood.

The building architecture itself is also developed to present as small a carbon impact as possible while adding a distinctive character to the site. The competition win of Ordener-Poissonniers marks the third Parisian project for Danish landscape architects SLA, of which the innovative nature-based Reinventer Paris Ternes project has gained widespread acclaim. The three projects are the result of SLA’s involvement through many years in the French capital. The construction of the Ordener-Poissonniers project is set to be completed in 2024. Source by SLA and Biecher Architectes.

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Architect: SLA and Biecher Architectes
  • Sub-Building Architects: Niney et Marca Architectes, Bourbouze & Graindorge and AAVP.
  • Sub-Consultants: OASIIS (sustainable development), ATTITUDES URBAINES (programming), OTEIS (engineering)
  • Developers: Emerige, Ogic
  • Client: The City of Paris, SNCF Real Estate and Espaces Ferroviaires (site developer)
  • Year: 2019
  • Images: SLA and Biecher Architectes, Courtesy of SLA

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