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studioMilou：位于法国中西部的尼奥尔市坐落在Sèvre河畔，是普瓦图-夏朗德地区的第三大市镇。整个城市从历史上一直是围绕着河港和中世纪的堡垒进行扩张，直到19世纪，出现在火车站附近的新区域改变了尼奥尔市的形制。由此诞生了Place de la Brèche广场，如今该场地从曾经的集会会场变成了现代城市的中心。时间倒回20世纪，La Brèche的会场性质已然消失，变成了大型停车场。
studioMilou: The city of Niort, located in the Poitou-Charente region of Central west France, sits on the River Sèvre. Historically, the city’s development took place around the river port and medieval fort, until its expansion in the 19th century led to a new district emerging around the train station. This altered the shape of Niort, resulting in the Place de la Brèche, a former fairground site becoming the modern city’s centre. By the 20th century, La Brèche lost its fairground character to become a large parking area.
20世纪90年代末，政府开始将La Brèche作为城市广场来进行重建。到2002年，尼奥尔市政府举办了针对该场地改造设计的大型竞赛，向社会公开征集设计方案，目的是为了恢复La Brèche广场的城市作用和商业作用，增强城市景观和城市中心的社会活力。
In the late 1990s, the city began work to re-establish La Brèche original purpose as the city Square. In 2002 that the Mayor of Niort announced a new study for a major competition for a conversion project to be carried out with the aim of restoring a civic and commercial role to La Brèche which could enhance the urban landscape and social dynamism of the city centre.
studioMilou won the project with Jean-Francois’ Milou’s stunning design, which integrated all the requirements of the architectural brief in such a way as render some unseen (parking spaces, cinemas and infrastructural components) beneath a harmonious garden inspired by seventeenth century landscaping traditions. This approach at once ensured that all technical and transport amenities are either below or around the garden, while the central components of the project; the meditative and welcoming garden and two monumental pavilions, are entirely freed for the enjoyment of the communities.
One of the reasons for the enduring and growing appeal of Place de la Brèche has been the involvement of the local community in shaping aspects of the project. From inception to completion of the Place de la Brèche, studioMilou was involved in the rigorous public consultations which allowed local residents to give their views of the project’s direction. studioMilou participated in these consultations, giving presentations and engaging with the stakeholders whose views were essential to shaping the design’s enduring public appeal.
The consultation exercises, which included client commissioned exhibitions, public workshops, presentations and opinion polls on the plans for the Place de la Brèche, revealed two main views:
1. A demand, coming from business stakeholders, for more density and more commercial flux, this being associated with confidence in the character of the project underway;
2. A demand, coming from local residents, for greater calm, for peace and quiet, and for a garden, this being associated with some mistrust of the project.
Responding to this, studioMilou developed in the direction of incorporating greater landscape elements and reducing the number of architectural features, such as glasshouses and kiosks. In some senses, the architectural work sought certain discretion within the project, whereby its features would only be seen and felt at certain strategic locations so as to allow the garden to dominate the design.
▼儿童游戏区 Children’s play area
▼静谧花园 The peaceful and natural garden
The status of Place de la Brèche as a national heritage site meant that studioMilou was obliged to overcome innumerable design challenges to integrate large public amenities in such a way that they would not undermine the site’s integrity and visual unity. The brief included, for example, a 530-place underground garage, a 12-screen multiplex cinema and 1,500 m2 of exhibition space, along with cafes, restaurants and kiosks. It also required that La Brèche accommodate, within easy access to the garden, a key public transport point. And to these core amenities, studioMilou proposed and received approval for the inclusion of a children’s play area, a themed garden and a mirror pool within the garden of La Brèche. At the heart of studioMilou’s design approach was the desire to locate the amenities where they could not interrupt the expansive and peaceful nature of the garden.
A major challenge, for example, was to locate the 12 cinemas underground, beneath La Brèche; something that could be achieved only by constructing a large passageway below ground level which could be classified as a road, enable a secure entrance to the cinemas and ensure sufficient access/exit routes to meet safety regulations. Similarly, the significant underground parking facilities were built underground, further ensuring the uninterrupted space of the garden while meeting one of the civic and commercial communities’ key requests that the parking remain onsite.
Intensive studies were also required around the implications of locating a traffic hub alongside La Brèche to facilitate visitor’s access. New circulation routes were developed around the square, with sufficient buffer zone in the form of large paved pedestrian areas, giving a sense of distance from vehicles so as to preserve the tranquility and of the garden. studioMilou viewed Place de la Breche as an opportunity to breathe new life into the centre of Niort, to attract its inhabitants and surrounding communities towards Place de la Brèche, with its marriage of beautiful landscaping, entertainment, dining and practical facilities.
AMERU – Matthieu Joncheray，项目经理
Deux Sèvres Aménagement Stéphanie Ruiz
Location: Niort, France
Amount of work: 36 M€
The City of Niort
AMERU – Matthieu Joncheray, project manager
Executive contracting authority
Deux Sèvres Aménagement Stéphanie Ruiz
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