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Michel Desvigne / Inessa Hansch

The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles


Spring 2015

Studio Report


Michel Desvigne / Inessa Hansch

The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles


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Studio Instructors Michel Desvigne, Inessa Hansch Teaching Assistant Samantha Solano Students Hillary Archer, Josh Brown, Zheming (Taro) Cai, John Frey, Courtney Goode, Qiyi Li, Lara Mehling, M. Catalina Picon, Bingjie Shi, Samantha Solano, Sonja Vangjeli, Evelyn Volz, Xiaodi Yan Guest Critics Jane Amidon, Anita Berrizbeitia, Joan Busquets, Sonja D端mpelmann, Gary Hilderbrand, Mark Laird, Charles Waldheim Contributor Gary Hilderbrand


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The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles Michel Desvigne, Inessa Hansch

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Exploring a Territorial Culture Michel Desvigne

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Superimposed Scales as a Framework Inessa Hansch

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Edge Effects: On the Margins of Grand Ambitions Gary Hilderbrand

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The Other Side of Versailles Hillary Archer

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Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation Zheming (Taro) Cai

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Growing Collective Space: Experimental Urban Agriculture for Pion Barracks John Frey

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Cultures of Cultivation Courtney Goode

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Representative Landscape: Seeing and Being Seen Qiyi Li

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Station des Fleurs Lara Mehling

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Reinterpretation of Sloping Earthwork Bingjie Shi

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Weaving Natures Samantha Solano

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Pion Campus: Landscape Research at the Edge of Versailles Sonja Vangjeli

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Trigger Landscapes: New Opportunities for Isolated Conditions

M. Catalina Picon

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Forest Park Evelyn Volz

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Reconstructing the Edge: Inhabiting the Zone between Environment and Culture through Water Xiaodi Yan

142 Contributors


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Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch

Versailles is often considered the site of the invention of the classical city. Strikingly, the shapes of the city respond to those of the Park of Versailles, themselves territorial expressions. This link between geography, agrarian structures, and urban forms in the design of a park is an extraordinary reference for actors creating the contemporary city. This studio focuses on a site adjacent to the park: the former military barracks of Pion. This site forms a hinge between the historical landscape and an urban territory in flux, including the research and business cluster of Paris-Saclay. The city of Versailles is planning to develop a new neighborhood on this 50-acre site. We will intervene within the framework of a real project. The construction of periurban areas, their inclusion in agricultural territory, the deciphering and transposition of historic traces, and the invention of urban forms in relation to the creation of public spaces across the landscape are all at the center of this study. As in the creation of the city of Versailles during the 17th century, the studio will consider the intersections of landscape, public space, and urban form. Ultimately, because of its relatively small size, the site of the barracks can be considered an experimental prototype for concrete and controlled solutions. Students have proposed a small district with built typologies and a network of public areas at multiple scales. The studio program is very similar to the actual situation. Acting as professionals, students engaged the clients during a site visit to Versailles. The project brief, in both real life and the studio, alternates between two points of view: architecture and landscape architecture. Each student specialized in a different area, topic, or focus, studying either a specific site or design typology under the guidance and direction of the instructors.

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The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles


10 The Pion barracks site stretches out as a thin edge along the back of the Jardin de Versailles and the INRA research campus in Versailles, France.


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12 An aerial close-up view of the remnant structures and parcels at the Pion barracks site.


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Michel Desvigne

Exploring a Territorial Culture


This programmatic singularity informed several student proposals, determining a specific aesthetic—a kind of necessary rigor. It is not about functional or utilitarian structures, but an elementary vocabulary that allows diversity and evolution over time. The question of time management makes sense in a territory that combines plant groupings of different ages and historical periods. The observation of different densities and their implementation in the projects were among the instruments of this research. The primary aim of the exercise was “composition”—rooted in and determined by both the past and future of a complex culture. We believe that we have shared this culture.

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To imagine a landscape project at Versailles is a challenge: the pitfall of a profanation of this archetypal composition can paralyze. Neoclassical replicas abound around the park, along with “green spaces” that seem to ignore it. I think we have avoided these two extremes, and I am convinced that many projects developed during the studio approached the essence of Versailles. It is not so much about the sanctity of the composition but rather the exceptional relationship between large territory and park: indeed, a vast area of forests ​​ and plains literally designed for hunting has historically existed. All around the royal property, the territory of woods and croplands had ample geometrical layouts, with a network of roads crossing sometimes in patte d’oie junctions. The genius of Le Nôtre lies partly in the way he managed to internalize and translate these layouts inside the park, so that its architecture is also a great articulation with a context that seems to determine it in return. Throughout our explorations, this territorial cohesion was placed at the center of our interests. In our opinion, this relationship between scales seems an essential understanding that enables us to link our projects with their contexts. Few students were familiar with the complexity of European agricultural and forestry forms produced by a long series of historical processes: the question is not about making a copy of forms but playing an intuitive game with the mechanisms that produced them. But even on a smaller scale, the material of the Gardens of Versailles was important: it can be considered a “sculpted” naturalistic woodland, sometimes contained by the layouts that we have mentioned. Far from inappropriate formalist imitations, the aim of the studio project was to grasp this wonderful balance between a specific nature and its composition. This matter involved the spirit of classical gardens. Its observation and its mastery reinforce the acquisition of a culture. Finally, a number of places dedicated to research—to agronomic and horticultural experimentation—are positioned around the historical park: first, the King’s vegetable garden, but also right inside the park (in contact with the studio site), the National Agricultural Research Institute; to the north, the arboretum of the Museum of Natural History; and further west, the College of Agriculture of Grignon.


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Inessa Hansch

Superimposed Scales as a Framework


Method To meet this objective, the urbanistic work was conducted through a series of ordered stages. This progression allowed the project to evolve linearly from the arrangement of structures on the site to the definition of the architectural volumes. The working method has particularly focused on the establishment of a framework capable of articulating the site within its larger territory. The approach to the context began intuitively, following the personal motivations of the students. The reading of the context was individual and the choice of the program left free. The evaluation of the results was based mainly on the alignment of the final proposals with the initial readings. The judgment from the urbanistic point of view considered the students’ understanding of scales and

mastery of proportions, and the relevance of the proposed typologies. 1. Personal reading of the urban and landscape context as part of a real order The aim here was to establish a personal image of the context of the project. Through this analysis, each student highlighted the major structural elements of the territory and qualities of the site. These data were not considered established in advance. We had to specifically identify them, according to the issue raised by the project: the design of a new neighborhood on a former military site. This step helped to prioritize the data and define the relationship with the structures already in place. Historical traces were not systematically taken into consideration but integrated as warranted by careful review of the data. Through a graphical representation in plan, students clearly defined the choices they made in relation to the project environment. 2. Analysis of local typologies and research into reference typologies to understand their scales The analysis of local typologies identified varied forms of working within the existing landscape. The exercise raised awareness of measure—how to control the perception of spaces according to different scales. The research into reference typologies aimed to identify the spatial potential of singular typologies, especially for their ability to integrate new programs and articulate varied scales. 3. Composition of a framework consti- tuting the territorial anchoring of the project The framework offered a first look at spaces defined by dimensions, orientations, and proportions. These characteristics meet the structural elements observed in the landscape and establish a scale of intervention on the site. The image of the framework is represented by a model or a synthetic and evocative drawing. Its implementation is an irreversible stage of the project. It is part of its further development. This structure, not very defined at this stage, has the power to let the project evolve in different ways. The

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The studio’s purpose was to develop a project in the historic environment of the plain of Versailles. The work presented in this report provides examples of the ideas that the students explored. The design of a neighborhood engages urbanism and landscape design in a complementary way. In this studio, we discussed the projects considering both disciplines simultaneously. This parallel work is, however, not univocal; it is created by the confrontation of two specific visions: the urban vision (with the installation of built volumes) and the landscape vision (with the definition of plant structures). The simultaneous approach allows designers to define all of the spaces within a neighborhood and its anchoring in the territory. The site is located along the edge of the Gardens of Versailles, opposite the city. It extends the agglomeration of Saint-Cyr. Formerly a military field, our site of Pion is surrounded by a classic garden, diffuse residential areas, and agricultural land. In this context, the projects propose a program for the development of a new district and imagine a form of installation in the landscape. The aim of the studio investigation was not only to have projects situate themselves properly within the historical footprint, but also to determine their position with consideration of the contemporary unstructured environment alongside the historical park. How could we use the inherent qualities of the landscape to recompose a structure firmly rooted in this territory?


project is not exclusively deduced from its framework. The definition of the nature of space, the character of the area, and the development of typologies will determine the qualities of the various proposals. The role of the framework is to provide a large-scale unity to the project and ensure consistency among its scales.

The results of the studio show a great variety of proposals, all capable of meeting our objectives. Nevertheless, we can see commonalities within the varied projects. The process, following a sequence of stages and superimposed scales, brought coherence to the whole composition throughout its development. From the first composition, summed up in a radical graphic, the projects developed with great finesse and sensitivity. This success is undoubtedly the result of a good understanding of scales and mastery of proportions. Despite the complexity of the problematic, the context of Versailles offered a very stimulating environment. Students, confronted by contemporary issues, had the opportunity to be inspired by references whose quality is the result of exceptional savoir-faire. This historical background enriched the proposals, allowing students to appropriate specific structures and dimensions. These classical references were used selectively to integrate the new district into its context.

Superimposed Scales as a Framework

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4. Detailed development of the project based on the framework The articulation of the buildings with outdoor spaces is defined at each scale. The building implementation is an opportunity to imagine typologies of spaces that articulate with the larger landscape. The layout of the building volumes must be done with the aim of organizing a whole structured with the outdoor areas of the site. This stage enables the integration of the functional constraints related to the program without losing the coherence of the project at the new scale of intervention. The introduction of a hierarchy of spaces organizes these interlocking scales and allows the overlapping of functional constraints with those of the site.


Edge Effects: On the Margins of Grand Ambitions

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Gary Hilderbrand


to see that some hybridized version of these tactics could be adapted in the 21st century to help stem the pox of suburbanization that continually threatens to ruin old villages and fields still clinging for survival, some against the edge of Versailles itself. Therein lies the brief for the Pion barracks studio. What is the value for students in journeying to Versailles to investigate the project of rehabilitation of its edge conditions? As an assistant professor in the 1990s, I faced a similar question while organizing a trip for Harvard students to the Paris region. Why take students to Versailles, which projects a worldview that’s entirely implausible in our time? Versailles is brilliant but excessive and sprawling—even the king thought he needed a more passive retreat at Marly to get away from his own colossus. What lessons could it hold? Don’t the problems facing urbanization and landscape infrastructure demand contemporary modes of practice and new paradigms of thought? For designers, the argument went, surely there were more compelling works to see in the center of Paris, in the Grands Projets or numerous developments in the périphérique. It strikes me that Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch have provided a compelling answer to the question I faced back then. Through this studio engagement, students have not simply tried to understand what ideas and themes distinguish the park and its grand history; instead they have grappled with underlying systems and cultural practices that frame the park—historically and in today’s circumstance—and that could operate as ordering strategies in the renovation of the contemporary urban condition. Why not look at the park’s edges to understand the lessons we can apply to our current problems of urbanization? Ecological science instructs that edge effects—changes that occur through the productive overlap of adjoining habitats—give rise to something greater than the sum of connected parts. They lead to increased biological complexity, diversity, even resilience. In the student proposals for the barracks of Pion, we see approaches to urbanization borne of adjacency, predicting a richer, more vital future for the edge—and for the territory at large. Through Desvigne and Hansch’s focused pedagogy, each hypothèse finds a grounding of some kind in the historic park and exploits it—but the ensuing project foundations are strategic and transformative,

Edge Effects: On the Margins of Grand Ambitions

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When you stand on the Grand Terrasse at Versailles and view the astonishing landscape that extends northwest from the palace, you can believe that Louis XIV’s imperial project approximated an infinite universe: no boundaries, no edges. The twomile axis embodied a radically controlled, never-ending horizon, as if all that lay beyond yielded to the power of the throne at the center. To the sides of this calculated cone of vision, highly ordered bosquets stood in for the vast French forest. In the other direction, toward Paris, the town’s long stretch of grand triplicate avenues shared its origins with the rational orders and visual constructions of the king’s Petit Parc. Garden and city were joined, distinctions between them effectively obscured. For the monarchy, this was a place without limits. But in reality there were edges, of course: a vast and productive rural geography defined the working kingdom beyond the royal garden, where regular citizens toiled in subsistence farming or small manufactures. Setting aside the finer points of land ownership and tax policy, the king could have taken yet more land and deployed a greater military force to engineer it into an even grander garden. But he did not need it. Optical dominion was already in place, having been well practiced at Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte before being perfected at Versailles. Stretching across what we know was an irregular but relatively flat terrain, the constructed perspectives that framed André Le Nôtre’s infinite prospect augured a landscape idea that proved repeatable and resilient, and that bears continued examination, to be sure; this has been much discussed by Hamilton Hazelhurst (1980) among others, and most persuasively in recent times by Georges Farhat (2014). Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch have declared that the formation of the garden/city we know as Versailles has influenced the urbanization of sites well beyond the palace grounds—a phenomenon they call the classical city. Though he could not have anticipated that French absolutism would ultimately give way to republican politics, how satisfied the Sun King would be to know that the long axes and broad avenues that embodied his territorial ambition at Versailles would help shape new cities (and adapt older ones) in a post-monarchic world, extending far beyond the borders of his beloved France. And he’d likely be pleased


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Gary Hilderbrand

not imitative. They predict newly recuperative waterworks, new scales of agroforestry propagation and food production, corridors for wildlife and movement that pay dividends for adjacent land uses, tectonic measures that lead to new topographic advantage, tourist and transportation infrastructures paired with multiple social programs, and institutional expansions that relate educational or research program missions to a landscape underpinning for staged urbanization. It’s almost too obvious to state that a 20th-century legacy of zoning-based growth models, with little regard for the specific geography of a place or the absence of coherent and adaptable transportation infrastructures, has done more harm than good to the edges of cities worldwide. In this studio, at a potentially susceptible boundary between Versailles and Saint-Cyr-l’École, we are made aware of how new models of landscape infrastructure—ones that travel well beyond the typical morphological interests of long avenues and constructed perspectives—can be seen as catalyzing economic and social benefits for the city. The proposals accept no delimiting of garden and city. As Chandra Mukerji describes so effectively in Territorial Ambitions and the Gardens of Versailles (1997), the same techniques that made it possible to accommodate population growth beyond the city’s limits—surveying and cartography, earthmoving and land drainage, water harvesting and transport, masonry extraction (the list goes on)—were employed en masse in making the great park at Versailles. Proof again that the conspicuous and purposeful entwinement of city and garden remains a potent vehicle for study and—as acclaimed by this studio—for acting upon the city’s rich and vulnerable edges.


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Hillary Archer

The Other Side of Versailles


contemplative public gardens within the surrounding forest envelope. Footpaths incorporate traces of past rail ties. A walled bosquet accommodates sculptures on rotation. The urban pond, sunken and enclosed, becomes a social hotspot while serving as part retention basin, part reservoir for recycling gray water on site. Most important is the canopy walk, a dike-like connection along the site that branches out and raises people along the canopy of a century-old allée. As a district, the other side of Versailles becomes a working hinge between the palace’s iconic landscape heritage and SaintCyr’s mixed-use periurban center.

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As part of the redevelopment goals of the city of Versailles, a marginalized parcel struggles for reintegration into the greater context. It is a transition zone where urban and rural activities combine. Here there are many buildings but no town center, much green space but no public space, many roads yet no pedestrians. This proposal aims to win back the site’s value by establishing a landscape architectural framework that activates forest systems, urban structures, local inhabitants, and curious tourists alike. French classicism means repetition, simplicity, and strength—where myriad effects are created with just a few formal techniques. As such, allées, bosquets, terraces, fountains, and canopy walks became my building blocks for redefining the barracks of Pion as a vibrant town center in a forest district. Existing landscape and transportation infrastructures were embraced to invent a flexible program that could be both economic and experiential. Stemming from the train station at the heart of the site, an urban town center gradually dissolves into softer,


The Other Side of Versailles

24 Site analysis: There are so many buildings, but where is the town center? There is so much green space, but where is the public space? There are so many roads, but where are the pedestrians?


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Hillary Archer


The Other Side of Versailles

26 Study model: Terraces are pushed down or pulled up to create a connected gradient of outdoor rooms.


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Hillary Archer Synthetic diagram: A two-kilometer canopy walk connects the cultural center, train station, and public gardens through branching ramps and raises people up along the century-old canopy lining Versailles.


28 Context plan.


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The Other Side of Versailles

30 Above: Site systems. A cohesive collection of mixed-use buildings, streets, and public gardens is established on site to activate it both economically and experientially.

Following page: Site plan, 1:1,000 meters: Le Nôtre’s concept of cabinets de verdure is brought to life throughout the site. Spaces are united by a forest envelope with footpaths to Versailles and the adjacent town of Saint-Cyr.

Following spread: Final site model.


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Hillary Archer


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Zheming (Taro) Cai

Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation


expanding tourism beyond the boundaries of Versailles’s as defined by UNESCO. Designing the site therefore becomes a matter of creating a landscape within the landscape. It is no longer a question of constructing a site from tabula rasa but rather of working with the genius of the place, representing and reinterpreting the character of preexisting elements. My intuition is to apply classical principles as a vernacular language and design a coherent plan featuring two distinct districts. Tree planting constructs the framework for situating the design within the region; two clearings are created within the framework, becoming integral parts of the regional landscape system.

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While the preservation of historical landmarks has been made feasible and codified through organizations such as National Park Services and UNESCO, one may question the viability and the value of any act of preservation today due to the accelerated and contested nature of our society. The project attempts to provide critical conservation from a landscape perspective, in which the genius loci and the site’s historical significance are articulated to support the understanding of the present and the future. The analysis of Versailles reveals its axial allÊe system as a landscape framework that links geography, hydrology, agrarian structures, and urban forms at territorial scale. The major axis essentially became transect through various types of landscape and landscape performances. The system continues to play an important role today in anchoring a corridor for tourism. People are able to experience the trace of the past through consideration of the morphological character of the geometry. The system also demonstrates the possibility of


36 Historical landscape matrix: Drawing based on Carte Particulière des Grand et Petit Parcs, by Joseph Viallanez (1735).


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Mass and void typologies.

Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation

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Woodland Plantation

Nursery Plantation

Zheming (Taro) Cai

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Orchard Plantation

Urban Grove Plantation

Plantation as spatial construction methodologies.


Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation

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Zheming (Taro) Cai Previous page: Landscape framework as a system to situate the design within a preexisting environment, while defining new identities at various scales.

Top: Second clearing as CitĂŠ Flottante, where urban forms situate on planks, floating over the landscape, offering an unobstructed view into Versailles.

Bottom: First clearing as CitĂŠ des Jardins, a residential area, where pedestrian corridors link collective gardens and public gardens to generate a garden-city network.


Pedestrian corridor links collective gardens and public gardens.

Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation

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A system of public and private garden networks creates the framework for residential development.

Residential form typology.


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Zheming (Taro) Cai Residential area plan.


Apply axial hierarchy for spatial construction.

Landscape Framework as Critical Conservation

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Elevated platform creates unobstructed visual connection.

Urban form typology.


Urban area plan.

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Zheming (Taro) Cai


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John Frey

Growing Collective Space: Experimental Urban Agriculture for Pion Barracks


on the relationship between one’s living environment and the daily transition from infrastructure (house, apartment, or other private spaces) to collective, public, open spaces (parks, gardens, or agricultural lands). Living in this suburban context requires navigating complex edges, but this project utilizes several scales and forms of agriculture to emphasize its potential transformative role within an urban condition. Using small farms, rooftop greenhouses, hydroponic planting, community gardens, and other types of agriculture as a program and not a land use can inform new conceptions of collective and public spaces.

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The Pion barracks site is characterized as peripheral, leftover, or “backyard� space. Yet this condition is a product of its diverse context of research institutions, gardens, suburbs, and a municipal airport. My programming for the site, accounting for the surrounding urban, suburban, and rural context combined with an embedded culture of research, is a testing ground for periurban to urban agriculture. The approach raises several questions concerning the transformation of traditional agriculture (historically opposed to development in terms of land use) into a model of productive landscapes that incorporates new types of suburban living. The past, present, and future of this region is characterized by its agricultural lands (for production and research) and its growing urban areas. Historically, they were spatially separate. Today it is a relationship of harsh juxtaposition. In the future they need to be integrated. As an urbanistic project in a French suburban context, my proposal focuses


150m

Farming

150m

Following spread: Context plan.

Growing Collective Space

Urban

Above and following page: Grids; The context of Versailles and Saint-Cyr provides dimensions embedded within the urban fabric that can be applied to the site.

125m

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125m


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60m

Suburban

Gardening

130m

John Frey

160m

13 m 30 m

240m


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Growing Collective Space

52 Master plan: The site is split by a railway that connects to a larger commuter system into Paris. The new transit stop serves as a node of urban development that transforms the region.


Buildings

Crops

Gardens

Bosquets

Street Trees

Agriculture Tree Grid

Vehicular

Pedestrian

Rail

Experimental Grids

Master plan, axonometric view: Each layer, whether infrastructure, vegetation, or architecture, represents an important organizational element on the site.

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John Frey

Bicycle


Growing Collective Space

54 Detail plan: Urban center.


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John Frey Model: Urban center.


Growing Collective Space

56 Detail plan: Micro-agriculture.


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John Frey Model: Micro-agriculture.


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Courtney Goode

Cultures of Cultivation


time scales of sowing and harvest with the social patterns of urban life.

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The rational strength of the design and organization of the Gardens of Versailles provided an early foundation for organizing the city of Versailles. The clear design language and the rich cultural practices of fruit and vegetable production serve as key elements in my redesign of the Pion barracks. In my initial reading of the site, I gravitated toward numerous overlapping local agrarian narratives. Four in particular stand out: modern cash-crop farming, agricultural research centers, historic horticulture at the Château de Versailles, and an abundance of nearby family kitchen gardens. These varying spatial, temporal, and social scales of food production ground the conceptual framing for the new Pion barracks design. The new barracks are positioned as a hinge that joins these cultures through programmed use on-site from all four social groups, as well as new transit connections via train and major bicycle and pedestrian routes. The bicycle network on the eastern promenade and train line on the western spine activate the central strip of productive farms and gardens, and draw people through this space to share ideas and build a community that bridges these cultural narratives. The new design borrows from the harmonious and bold proportions of Mansart’s Orangerie, along with the rigidity of the Grand Carré (four square vegetable parterres) in the Potager du Roi (king’s kitchen garden). Both are used as urban formal devices to stabilize the chaotic remnants of the military base. Although the two prominent geometries in the design are rigid, the productive vegetation and human activity on site is in constant flux throughout the seasons. The sunken productive courtyards share a nine-meter structure and viewing platform on the western edge. This simple device serves many functions; it shields the gardens from wind; traps and radiates heat in the winter; hides the train from primary view corridors in Versailles; and creates a massive poetic outcrop ledge and allée. The commuter rail line is sunken into the eastern side of these courtyard spaces and provides an additional cyclic layer to temporal occupation. The new Pion barracks will be a theater of daily agrarian and urban performance that choreographs


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Cultures of Cultivation

62 Plan view revealing primary and secondary pedestrian circulation, bicycle circulation, waterways, grading, and surrounding agrarian and urban fabric.


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Courtney Goode Illustrative plan view in fall. Site areas include pear orchard entry, sorghum fields, sunken espalier markets, and train station, all connected by a hinged spine of bicycle and pedestrian traffic along a chestnut allĂŠe.


INTIMATE URBAN SCALE REFERENCE 1500–1600 m2

Cultures of Cultivation

AGRICULTURAL URBAN SCALE REFERENCE 30,000 m2

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AGRICULTURAL FIELD SCALE REFERENCE 25,000–35,000 m2

The nested scales and proportions of the Orangerie at Versailles are ideal for mediating between intimate, urban, and agricultural scales.


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Courtney Goode


Cultures of Cultivation

66 Top: Oblique view of the train station courtyard, student and researcher housing units, and ramps down from the overlook retaining wall.

Bottom: Oblique view facing north from the high-point lookout hill in foreground, with a view of the entire site.


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Courtney Goode CNC-milled white foam model of the ground-level design moves, with urban fabric and infrastructure for context.


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Qiyi Li

Representative Landscape: Seeing and Being Seen


functioning as both a link to Versailles and its new car park. The bridge is surrounded by four gardens—water, rose, tulip, and sakura—each corresponding to one of four human senses (auditory, olfactory, visual, and gustatory). The proposal comprehensively rethinks and balances these different needs and desires, both aesthetically and functionally, into this new car park of Versailles set within a contemporary garden.

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The study site, the barracks of Pion, is situated at the edge of Versailles, a royal château in the Île-de-France region that symbolizes absolute monarchy in French history. On the other side of the barracks is the presently underdeveloped city of Saint-Cyr. Positioned between a popular international tourism destination and a less developed local neighborhood, the site suffers from awkwardness and a “left out” feeling. This proposal creates a new front gate for Versailles by situating a car park on the site, within a contemporary garden. In so doing, the visiting experience of Versailles reflects the original intention articulated by its landscape architect, André Le Nôtre, through the sequence of garden-forestcanal-forest-palace-garden—offering the experience of seeing and being seen. The composition of the new garden respects the cultural heritage of the formal French garden by corresponding to the existing context grid and axis. But instead of rigidly following the model, it includes one off-grid element—an iconic bridge


Context: Axis diagnostic.

Representative Landscape: Seeing and Being Seen

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40m

90m

90m

40m 70m

70m

90m

90m 70m

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Qiyi Li

70m

Concept diagram.


Final model.

Representative Landscape: Seeing and Being Seen

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Qiyi Li Final model.


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Lara Mehling

Station des Fleurs


voids, which sets the project directly into its patchwork environment, layers of trees with different transparencies carve out outdoor “rooms” reminiscent of Versailles’s bosquets. Nested into these voids are another kind of “outdoor room”: the greenhouse, which is where the most change occurs, at the fine scale of a flower, offering botanical interest year-round.

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Located on the site of the former Pion barracks, a military post isolated between the city of Saint-Cyr and Versailles Park, Station des Fleurs proposes a central market station to revitalize the site’s unique position. As a transportation hub, it also introduces a new program for both the locals and those in transit: by spanning the site’s narrow point like a bridge, the station physically connects the city and the park, but it also does so programmatically through the interaction of people and plants in a central gathering space. The station’s light, open character houses a fresh indoor-outdoor flower market that celebrates the region’s botanical heritage. The market is supported by a farm with additional research and educational facilities organized along a central promenade that leads pedestrians through successive layers and stages of trade and cultivation. The structures supporting this program occupy clearings within a formal woodland. While the site’s tree planting provides the large-scale framework of masses and


Station des Fleurs

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Production

Exchange

Transport


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Lara Mehling Concept diagrams.

Following spread: Isometric view of the site and its programmatic layout.


Detail plans.


Following spread: Detail plan of the campus courtyard housing research facilities, preparatory spaces, and display greenhouses for educational and recreational use.


A bird’s-eye view of the market station from the park’s edge reveals an urban facade when looking back at the indoor and outdoor spaces, which are primarily below grade.


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Bingjie Shi

Reinterpretation of Sloping Earthwork


of the agricultural landscape. A continuous elevated public bridge is introduced to connect public programs and establish the hierarchy of private and public access. The site is divided into four parts based on the historical trace: a new visitors’ center inside a forest facing Versailles; the research field facing the city, which serves as the main entrance; the open labs and crop research fields; and the orchard and fruit labs. Sloping earthwork facing different directions creates spaces with individual identities and varied orientations, accessibility, and viewsheds. Forest and vegetation strengthen this sloping perspective as a mass volume. The main circulation follows the lower terrain along the irrigation waterway. Public gardens are located at the thresholds of sloping transition zones, offering a rich spatial experience.

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This project seeks to reinterpret the historical sloping earthwork as a contemporary frame for new programs. Versailles is well known for its dramatic earthwork that provided a spectacular perspective while representing territorial power. In addition, two other important historic elements coordinate with the topography: the historical trace and the forest. The site is adjacent to the Gardens of Versailles, INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research), and the town of Saint-Cyr-l’École. The site is proposed as an opportunity to be an extension of the INRA campus. INRA has multiple branch campuses and offices around the country, though they are private, with limited access to the public. An open campus is proposed for INRA’s better outreach and connection with the public. By establishing a new gate to both INRA and the Gardens of Versailles, this open campus serves tourists, the community, and INRA scientists. The U-shaped building, as a new typology for open labs, sits on sloping earthwork to strengthen the topography and the view


Reinterpretation of Sloping Earthwork

88 Historical trace overlapping map and regional map.


89

Bingjie Shi Above: Current INRA campus components and layouts.

Following spread: Context plan.


90


91


Site elements.

Reinterpretation of Sloping Earthwork

92


93

Bingjie Shi


Master plan.

Reinterpretation of Sloping Earthwork

94


95

Bingjie Shi Site model.

Detail plan.


Reinterpretation of Sloping Earthwork

96 Crop laboratory axonometric showing unidirectional sloping terrain and an open lab facing crop fields.


97

Bingjie Shi Process models.


98

Samantha Solano

Weaving Natures


99

The proposal for a people’s park of Versailles responds to the lack of everyday public space in the adjacent cities of Versailles and Saint-Cyr-l’École. Even though the site abuts the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, with its immense gardens and open space, formal and attractive to tourists, this does not provide for freedom of use and expression. The Pion barracks site offers an opportunity to connect people to the historic garden that defines their region, as well as giving them open space for recreation, cultural expression, and everyday life. The design concept centers on a forest mass, an open-space void, a central axis canal, and a winding path that takes the visitor through various experiences on the site. The canal is the visual element that provides a strong axis through the site, reacting to the adjacent typologies along its course. The overall experience of the site evokes drama through the abrupt division between mass and void, and the ability to weave in and out of the forest and open spaces. The program of the park is left open for users to define.


formal gardens

water bodies

forest mass

public parks

agriculture

urban mass


1:30,000


Site master plan.

Weaving Natures

102


103

Samantha Solano Various canal configurations that change through the progression within the site.


Concept diagram.

Weaving Natures

104


SECLUDED WETLAND

Samantha Solano

105

WETLAND WATER ACCESS BRIDGE

CANAL BEACH & HILL

CAR PARK & FIELDS CANAL TYPE

Forest planting strategy through time.


106

Sonja Vangjeli

Pion Campus: Landscape Research at the Edge of Versailles


grained agricultural grid, a framework of various typologies of paths, promenades, and irrigation canals lined with trees of different physical characteristics define spaces for research fields, orchards, and agroforestry, as well as research campus and housing buildings. The fields, orchards, and agroforestry are experimental plots managed by crop rotation, row intercropping, and transplanting to produce a landscape in a continuous state of change. The site starts as a pragmatic productive nursery and landscape school, transitioning over time to an expanded campus within a mature sophisticated landscape of contrasting spatial qualities.

107

Drawing from the legacy of the Gardens of Versailles and a network of agricultural and forestry research, the Pion site has the potential to become a hub for landscape research as a new campus for the Versailles Landscape Architecture School. In collaboration with adjacent institutions such as the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), the Arboretum, the urban agriculture Ferme de Gally, and the Gardens of Versailles, the campus can become part of a larger cluster of landscape heritage and research efforts, offering space for collaboration among different agencies and providing opportunities for public engagement and education. The spatial typologies of mass, line, and field, drawn from the Gardens of Versailles, inform a composition structured by trees to place the campus within a linear research park on the Pion site. The linear composition unifies the site and relates it to the scale of Versailles, and the language of classical planting typologies such as grove, orchard, allĂŠe, and hedgerow relates to its character. Based on a fine-


Pion Campus

108 Vegetation mass and void.


109

Sonja Vangjeli

Buildings Trees

GRID

MASS

Circulation Softscape Hardscap

GROUND


Pion Campus

110 Site master plan.


ACADEMIC BUILDINGS

STUDENT HOUSING TREES

TRAIN STATION

WALLS

MARKET ROOF

BUILDINGS

ADAPTED SHED

HARDSCAPE ORCHARD

ALLEE CIRCULATION

ROW

IRRIGATION SINGLE TREE

AGRICULTURE FIELDS

INTERCROPPING

FIELDS

Framework layers and typologies.

111

Sonja Vangjeli

GROVE


Rail Vehicular

CONCEPT

GROUND

RAMEWORK DIAGRAMS

Framework diagrams and change over time.

MASS

Pion Campus

112

Parking

CIRCULATION

Cycling Pedestrian


Public Landscape Education Centre

Orchards Agroforestry Intercropping

Forest

Agroforestry mature and diversify

Nursery trees transplanted

Nursery

Allee trees mature

Train Station Market Landscape Architecture School

Reserch Labs Student Housing

Fields

Research Campus Expansion

113

Sonja Vangjeli

Research Fields

PHASE 1 Year 1

PHASE 2 Year 5

SITE CHANGE OVER TIME

PHASE 3 Year 20


114

M. Catalina Picon

Trigger Landscapes: New Opportunities for Isolated Conditions


axis of the Gardens of Versailles was used to create connectivity between Saint-Cyr and the historical site. A large mount was constructed as a buffer zone between the train and the new residential area. This is also considered a “natural area” functioning as an ecological corridor and a public open space. Soft slopes coming from the hill provide nice views toward the Gardens of Versailles and are used as open space, with limited accessibility. Finally, each house has its own private garden. The site is a former military base, contaminated by chemicals and unexploded bombs. The project proposes that its cleaning process become the basis for its design. The processes of phytoremediation and earth removal will provide the new framework for the future development of the barracks of Pion.

115

The barracks of Pion, located within a “green island” replete with rich historical and environmental aspects, have strategic importance to their region. Yet despite these remarkable characteristics, at a local scale urban development has fragmented the site’s natural connections and isolated it from adjoining communities, turning it into the backyard of the Gardens of Versailles. The project sought to explore the site’s strengths and opportunities, to emphasize its potential role as an articulator node between the historical and natural landscapes and the residential areas that surround it. The project takes an ecological perspective, with the aim to connect natural and non-natural corridors within the site and to stimulate and catalyze biodiversity while providing accessibility to nearby communities. A new residential area, three types of open spaces (with full, limited, and private accessibility), a renovated university area, and ecological corridors (mount and depression) were the programs developed to enhance the site. Moreover, the historical


116

AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPE

HY

DR

OL

OG

ICA

LC

OR

RID

OR

IN

UR

CT

RU

ST

A FR

R

DO

RI

OR

C AL


FOREST

INF

RAS

TRU

CTU

COR

RID

OR

117

RAL

HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE

SAINT CYR NEIGHBORHOOD BARRACK OF PION

FOREST


PARKING

OPEN SPACE

TRAIN

HILL / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Conservation / Buffer Area

DEPRESSION / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA

SEMI-P AREA / SPACE

Vegetated Swales

118

OPEN SPACE / SPORTS AREA

DEPRESSION / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Vegetated Swales

BUFFER

Conservation / Buffer Area

DEPRESSION / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Vegetated Swales

URBAN FOREST

HILL / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUB

TRAIN

BUFFER

TRAIN

HILL / ECOLOGICAL ECORR

Conservation / Bu

UNIVERSITY AREA

URBAN FOREST UNIVERSITY AREA

ESC 1:500

DEPRESSION / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Vegetated Swales

BUFFER


PICNIC AREA

PARKING AREA

RESIDENTIAL AREA / PRIVATE GARDEN

SEMI-PUBLIC AREA / OPEN SPACE

BLIC AREA

RIDOR / PUBLIC AREA

SEMI-PUBLIC AREA / OPEN SPACE

119

PUBLIC OPEN

RESIDENTIAL AREA / PRIVATE GARDEN

uffer Area

TRAIN

HILL / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Conservation / Buffer Area

As the site shrinks toward the north, the relation of the different elements of the project varies. Heights, widths, planting and programs accommodate natural and new constraints, creating different types of places and atmospheres.

SEMI-PUBLIC AREA / OPEN SPACE

RESIDENTIAL AREA


HISTORICAL AXIS VERSAILLES MAIN AXIS

HISTORICAL AXIS

-FLOOD CONTROL -OPEN SPACE

HISTORICAL AXIS

SEMI PUBLIC AREA SPORTS AREA PICNIC AREA

ECOLOGICAL CORRIDOR

PUBLIC OPEN SPACE ELEVATED TRAIL CONSERVATION AREA BUFFER AREA CONSTRUCTION DEBRIS FOREST

ELEVATED TRAIL

NEW RESIDENTIAL AREAS

GREEN PLAZA COMMERCE AREA

SPORTS AREA

NEW ROAD

NEW ROAD

HITORICAL AXIS NEW CONNECTION TRAIN STATION

TRAIN STATION

DEPRESSION

ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR PUBLIC AREA VEGETATED SWALES OPEN SPACE

URBAN FOREST

UNIVERSITY

MATERPLAN ESC 1:1000

Master plan scale: 1/1,000 The project takes an ecological perspective, with the aim to connect natural and non-natural corridors within the site.

Trigger Landscapes

120

NEW ROAD


121

M. Catalina Picon


UNIVERSITY

URBAN FOREST

DEPRESSION / ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Vegetated Swales

122

BUFFER

Bird’s-eye view toward the north of the valley. Relation of the site and immediate context: Gardens of Versailles and adjoining neighborhoods (Saint-Cyr). The image shows the role of the mount as an ecological corridor and the principal organizing element of the landscape.

TRAIN

SPORTS AREA / OPEN SPACE

HILL / E


RESIDENTIAL AREA

SEMI-PUBLIC AREA / OPEN SPACE

PRIVATE GARDENS

VERSAILLES

HISTORICAL AXIS / CONNECTIVITY / TRAIN STATION

123

ECOLOGICAL ECORRIDOR / PUBLIC AREA Conservation / Buffer Area


124

Evelyn Volz

Forest Park


Looking at precedents to France’s historical hunting parks, which account for the majority of forest in France today, I became particularly interested in the composition of linear axes and curvilinear anomalies. These inspired the composition of ground and canopy walks on site. The path network helps to extend allÊes from Versailles and provides new paths designed for bicycles. The canopy walk is intended for pedestrians and varies from two to five meters wide, with the larger areas providing seating and vegetated nooks. A network of moon towers allows access between the ground plain and canopy walk. At the top, they offer 360-degree views over the tree canopy and a unique prospect of Versailles.

125

Foresting the park helps to connect and reestablish wildlife corridors from south of Highway N12 to the Gardens of Versailles. Silviculture principles are utilized, and the park is divided into regions and planted in low-, medium-, or high-gridded densities. These densities determine the numbers of mature, container-grown, and seedling trees planted. Older trees are planted mainly along pathways, offering instant enclosure to visitors. Seedlings are planted between the path networks and allowed to outcompete each other and mature into a complex forest over time. In some areas, however, seedlings hug the paths, while older trees are planted farther away. This creates open expanses around the canopy walk and provides middle-distance views. A wider habitat range for species is created by planting a mix of old and young trees, creating a richer wildlife corridor ecosystem. In addition, this enables the park to be used immediately and offers visitors the chance to watch it grow over time.


Forest Park

126

Linear Lines + Curvilinear Anomalies

Scale 1:50,000


Territory Diagnostic

Evelyn Volz

127

Greenbelt Connections: Hunting Park Axes

Hunting axes: Linear lines and Wildlife park Corridors curvilinear anomalies.

Linear and Curvilinear Relations


Planting Axon

Planting Strategy

Transplanted Trees

Low

Conta

T

Container Grown

Medium

Conta

T

High

Seedlings

Conta

Denisty

Site Vegetation

1

Forest Park

128

T

1 2.5 acres 5 Transplant 50 Container Grown

2

2 8 acres 32 Transplant 240 Container Grown

3 3 10 acres 60 Transplant 400 Container Grown

5 4 2 acres 4 Transplant 40 Container Grown

6 7 8 9 10 Scale 1:2500

Silviculture explorations: Site vegetation axon depicting the ages of trees brought to the site.

5 10 acres 60 Transplant 400Container Grown


High

Seedlings 2.5m x 2.5m

Container Grown

40/acre

Transplanted

6/acre

Density Denisty

Planting Strategy

1 Low

5m x 5m

Container Grown

20/acre

Transplanted

2/acre

Seedlings

5m x 5m

Container Grown

20/acre

Planting Strategy

Low

Medium

Planting Strategy

Seedlings Transplanted

5m x2/acre 2.5m

30/acre

Seedlings Transplanted

5m x 5m 4/acre

Container Grown

20/acre

Seedlings

5m x 2.5m

Medium

Evelyn Volz

High

Transplanted

2/acre

Container Grown

30/acre

High

Container Grown Seedlings

40/acre 5m x 2.5m

Transplanted Container Grown

6/acre 30/acre

40/acre

Transplanted

6/acre

Denisty High

2.5 acres 11 acres 5 Transplant 22 Transplant40/acre Container Grown 50 Container Grown 220 Container Grown

2 Transplanted

1

3 2

1 5 3

2

7

8 acres

240 Container Grown 2.5 acres 5 Transplant 50 Container Grown

4 acres 16 6 Transplant 120 Container Grown 11 acres 22 Transplant 220 Container Grown

3

8

10 acres 60 2 Transplant 400 Container Grown 8 acres 32 Transplant 240 Container Grown

5 acres 20 7 Transplant 150 Container Grown 4 acres 16 Transplant 120 Container Grown

7

9

8 5

Scale 1:2500

1

6

2.5 acres 4 5 Transplant 50 Container Grown 2 acres

11 acres 9 22 Transplant 220 Container Grown 4 acres

3

4 Transplant 40 acres Container Grown 10 60 Transplant 400 Container Grown

8

8 Transplant Container Grown 580acres 20 Transplant 150 Container Grown

2

7

8 acres 5 Transplant 32 240 Container Grown 10 acres 4 Transplant 60 400Container Grown 2 acres

4 acres 10 Transplant 16 120 Container Grown 5 acres 9 Transplant 10 100 Container Grown 4 acres

Silviculture explorations: Planting densities deployed across 3 the site. 6 10 4 Transplant 8 Transplant 340 Container Grown

880 Container Grown

7

10 acres 60 Transplant 400 Container Grown

5 acres 20 Transplant 150 Container Grown

8

5

10

5

10 acres

5 acres

Scale 1:2500

9

8 9

6/acre

2 32 Transplant 1

6

6

Seedlings 2.5m x 2.5m 6

1

Denisty

7

8 acres 32 Transplant 240 Container Grown

4 acres 16 Transplant 120 Container Grown

3

8

10 acres 60 Transplant 400 Container Grown

5 acres 20 Transplant 150 Container Grown

4

9

2 acres 4 Transplant 40 Container Grown

4 acres 8 Transplant 80 Container Grown

5

10

10 acres 60 Transplant 400Container Grown

5 acres 10 Transplant 100 Container Grown

7 1

Denisty

2

5

Seedlings 2.5m x 2.5m Transplanted 4/acre Container Grown

11 acres 22 Transplant 220 Container Grown

3

Transplanted 4/acre Seedlings 2.5m x 2.5m

Medium

6

2.5 acres 5 Transplant 50 Container Grown

2

Low Container Grown

1

10

129

Seedlings


Forest Park

130 Ground walk view: An intersection.


131

Evelyn Volz Above the canopy, a moon tower view.


132

Xiaodi Yan

Reconstructing the Edge: Inhabiting the Zone between Environment and Culture through Water


ter, combined with various watery habitats, the design explores the infinite possibilities of water. The water garden also collects rainwater from southern areas and acts as a new reservoir for the Gardens of Versailles by taking advantage of the specific landform of the site and its surroundings. Finally, the site becomes a setting for historical water-related artifacts, including aqueducts, canals, pumps, and reservoirs. It encourages people to explore the cultural meaning of water in this area—not just the fountains in the Gardens of Versailles, but also the stories and wisdom behind them.

133

The representation of water is the most essential part of the miracle of the Gardens of Versailles. Because of the park’s climate and valley setting, assuring an ample water supply has always been a serious issue in historical fountain construction, necessitating costly hydraulic projects and equipment. Today the Gardens of Versailles use an enclosed water supply system driven by electronic pumps, along with collected rainwater, to make up losses from evaporation and leakage and to avoid consuming local freshwater resources. The design of the site, at the northwest edge of the Park of Versailles near the Grand Canal, responds to the historical and current situation of water usage in the Gardens of Versailles to show the contemporary understanding of water and redefine the process of water usage in landscape. The aim is to challenge the rigid conventional phases of water collection, conduction, and representation and regard all processes as worthy of representation. By representing varied physical and visual conditions of wa-


134


135


Reconstructing the Edge

136


137

Xiaodi Yan The site is integrated with the surrounding forests, fields, and urban development.


Reconstructing the Edge

138


139

Xiaodi Yan Previous page: Site model.

Above: Site axonometric.


Re-Constructing the Edge

140 Detail views of site model.


141

Xiaodi Yan


142

Contributors

Michel Desvigne is a landscape architect internationally renowned for his rigorous and contemporary work and for the originality and relevance of his research. His projects, developed in more than 30 countries, are regularly published in the international press. He works with leading architects including Sir Norman Foster, Herzog and de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, OMA (Rem Koolhaas), Christian de Portzamparc, I. M. Pei, Renzo Piano, and Richard Rogers. Among Desvigne’s most well-known urban public spaces are the rue de Meaux garden (Paris), numerous public squares in the historic center of Lyon (France), a number of French TGV railway station piazzas (Valence, Avignon, Marseille, Strasbourg), the Greenwich Peninsula Millennium Park (London), and several modern art museum gardens: Parc Draï Eechelen (Luxembourg), the Sammons Park (Dallas), the St. Louis Art Museum (USA), and the New Qatar National Museum (Doha). Other significant projects include the Otemachi urban forest in (Tokyo), the Jussieu campus (Paris), and the public space of the City of Science in Esch/Alzette (Luxembourg). Desvigne has been awarded the leading role in the planning of the Paris-Saclay cluster (7,700 hectares) and Euralens (1,200 hectares), as well as the redevelopment of the old port of Marseille (winning the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2014). He received the French national Urbanism Grand Prize in 2011 and has been a member of the French National Commission for UNESCO since 2013. He is president of the French National School of Landscape Architecture in Versailles. A thematic monograph, Intermediate Natures: The Landscapes of Michel Desvigne, documents the key elements of his work.


Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, FAAR is a committed practitioner, teacher, critic, and writer. He is Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 1990, and Principal of Reed Hilderbrand, a landscape architecture practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His honors include Harvard University’s Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture, the Architectural League’s Emerging Voices Award with Douglas Reed, and the 2013 ASLA Firm of the Year award. The firm has been recognized with 75 national and regional awards. Through three acclaimed books and two dozen essays, Hilderbrand has helped to position landscape architecture’s role in reconciling intellectual and cultural traditions with contemporary forces of urbanization and change. His essays have been featured in Landscape Architecture, Topos, Harvard Design Magazine, Architecture Boston, Clark Art Journal, Arnoldia, New England Journal of Garden History, and Land Forum. He has served on the editorial boards of Spacemaker Press, Harvard Design Magazine, and Landscape Architecture. He chaired the ASLA National Awards Jury in 2005 and the ASLA Annual Student Awards Jury in 2006. His current research at Harvard aims to help close a disturbing intelligence gap between the science of urban forestry and the practice of landscape architecture.

143

Inessa Hansch is principal of Inessa Hansch Architecte, founded in 2007 in Paris, France. Her practice works at varied scales, with projects ranging from furniture and buildings to installations within urban space and urban planning. Often collaborating with landscape architects, Hansch aims to anchor each built form in its environment to reveal the specific character and true potential of the site. Born in Belgium, Hansch received her diploma in architecture from the Institut Supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc in Brussels; she also holds a town planning certificate from the Institut Supérieur d’Urbanisme et de Rénovation in Brussels. She pursued postgraduate studies in urbanism at the Institut d’Architecture de l’Université de Genève (now part of l’École Politechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). Her office won the Prix du Palmarès for Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape 2014 CAUE 78 for a project in Versailles. Currently under development are a number of projects in Europe and the United States, including the public space of Caen (France) with the creation of site installations and public facilities, and the Novartis campus in East Hanover, New Jersey, where architectural elements convey specific uses within a park. A recent commission for Southampton wharf in Le Havre features the design of light structures and pavilions on the wharf. In Versailles, Hansch is in charge of the urban design of Caserne Pion, where she is composing a city garden with 500 units of housing.


The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles Instructors Michel Desvigne, Inessa Hansch Report Editors Inessa Hansch, Courtney Goode, Hillary Archer Report Design Courtney Goode, Hillary Archer Image Retouching Courtney Goode Editorial Support Melissa Vaughn, Travis Dagenais, Sara Gothard A Harvard University Graduate School of Design Publication Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design Mohsen Mostafavi Assistant Dean for Communications Benjamin Prosky Editor in Chief Jennifer Sigler Publications Coordinator Meghan Sandberg Series design by Laura Grey and Zak Jensen ISBN 978-1-934510-5-13 Copyright 2016, President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior written permission from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Acknowledgments The authors thank Charles Waldheim, former Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, for the invitation to be part of the teaching program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design during the spring 2015 semester. The authors also thank the Versailles town hall for support during site visits, and François de Mazières, Mayor of Versailles, for the invitation to the town hall and his participation in the midterm review. Thanks to town services managers and staff, including Agnès Roux, Cathy Biass-Morin, MarieCatherine Podgi, and Marina Gaget, for their contribution to the review. The authors are grateful to the visiting critics at the final review, including Anita Berrizbeitia, Jane Amidon, Joan Busquets, and contributor Gary Hilderbrand. Thanks to students Courtney Goode and Hillary Archer for their work on this report. And finally, thanks to the American Society of Landscape Architects for recognizing the Pion studio work of Zheming (Taro) Cai with a 2015 award of excellence. Image Credits Cover image by Zheming (Taro) Cai Page 5, EPFY and Mathieu Labeille Page 9, Mathieu Labeille Page 11–12, The City of Versailles Page 13–14, adapted from Google Earth Pro by the office of Michel Desvigne The editors have attempted to acknowledge all sources of images used and apologize for any errors or omissions. Harvard University Graduate School of Design 48 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138 publications@gsd.harvard.edu gsd.harvard.edu


Studio Report Spring 2015

Harvard GSD Department of Landscape Architecture

Students Hillary Archer, Zheming (Taro) Cai, John Frey, Courtney Goode, Qiyi Li, Lara Mehling, M. Catalina Picon, Bingjie Shi, Samantha Solano, Sonja Vangjeli, Evelyn Volz, Xiaodi Yan

ISBN 9781934510513

9 781934 510513 >

The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles  

The Barracks of Pion: Developing the Edge of the Park of Versailles, Studio Report, Spring 2015, Harvard University Graduate School of Desig...