Rennes : St-Martin meadows

Urban park
Floodable area
Reed beds
Water management
Animals
Observatory
Footbridge

Client :
Ville de Rennes

BASE mandatory
+ EODD + INGEROP

Rennes / Ille-et-Vilaine
budget / 9 M€
surface / 30 ha
completion / 2018
under construction

The Saint Martin meadows are a fragment of nature located on the northern edge of the city centre.

Disguised as an abandoned area, these meadows offer a unique point of view over the city. Water shaped this site, rendering it indomitable and therefore protecting it from urbanisation. Today it is a natural landscape that sits by the city centre.

While preserving this identity, the meadows are designed to welcome cultural festivals and popular events. A public space which the inhabitants can appropriate temporarily or permanently.

The spatial structure and vegetation is largely based on the existing framework. The project was a matter of clarifying the different existing landscape structures. The site is structured around gradients; from natural dry landscape to wetlands, from domestic to more wild spaces. We see gradients on a spatial and ecological level as well.

More than just a park, the Saint Martin meadows question the role of nature and the wild in the city. It’s not about making the place a sanctuary neither is it about fighting back against the urban fabric nor is it about belittling the role of this site. It’s status is ambiguous; for us it is a research opportunity to discover new activities in dynamic urban nature.

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