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Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

France Architecture News - May 22, 2019 - 02:45   6726 views

Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

The City of Paris announced London-based landscape architecture practice Gustafson Porter + Bowman as the winner of the Site Tour Eiffel Competition for Paris, France.

The design scheme is proposed to reimagine the landscape of one of the world’s most iconic monuments. The City of Paris shortlisted Gustafson Porter + Bowman alongside three other teams from 42 entries – to reimagine the landscape of the Eiffel Tower. 

This major international competition sought designs that would respond to the brief - discover, approach, visit – and deliver a landscape that aligns with the City’s vision for a resilient, inclusive and environmentally-oriented future. 

The winning proposal, Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s scheme, called OnE, envisions one readable landscape that reveals unity, continuity and diversity.

Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

The Pont d’Iéna Bridge regreened as a planted promenade

Expected to cost €40 million, the masterplan will span an area of 54 hectares (540,000 square meters). The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2023 to be part of the City of Paris’ showcase for Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

OnE proposes a unifying axis: celebrating the Eiffel Tower at the centre of a line that connects the Place du Trocadéro, the Palais de Chaillot, the Pont d’Iéna, the Champ de Mars and the Ecole Militaire. 

"We would like to thank the City of Paris for having run a competition that has been engaging and educative, challenging and rewarding. Thanks to an open and ongoing dialogue, the City has played an essential role in stimulating ideas and debate around the proposals for this site. We have never experienced such a responsive approach to a competition," said Gustafson Porter + Bowman in press release.

"The experience is a very welcome one and we believe it is emblematic of the progressive spirit of Paris. Ultimately, this competition has been characterised by an attitude of openness, prioritising the exchange of ideas across cultures and disciplines."

Along this central green axis, a series of reimagined landscapes interlock: at the Place du Trocadéro, an amphitheatre of greenery restores space to pedestrians; a new and enlivened public space unfolds from the Varsovie Fountains towards the Pont d’Iéna; the bridge is reincarnated as a green promenade towards the gardens of the Eiffel Tower; the forecourt of the Eiffel Tower caters to the crowds with additional services and facilities discreetly hidden amongst the trees; and the raised lawns of the Champ de Mars protect and elevate the landscape.

Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

The amphitheatre at the Place du Trocadéro

OnE also creates spaces of pleasure and contemplation that punctuate the length of the site, and serve to prioritise the human scale. New perspectives are framed and staged, rebalancing the gravitational pull of the Eiffel Tower and activating a sense of arrival throughout. The OnE proposal establishes a coherent and refined hierarchy of uses across the site, improving pedestrian accessibility and city circulation.

"OnE embodies the international character of the site; it connects not only the site from West (Trocadéro) to East (Joffre) – the Ouest-Est / OnE represents the interconnections on this site between the West and East of the world: one humanity, one planet. Therefore, OnE encapsulates a unified environmental approach towards the future," said Gustafson Porter + Bowman.

"The City of Paris and the OnE proposal represent the vanguard of instituting environmental resilience into an urban context."

Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

The Eiffel Tower Esplanade

OnE thus evokes the union of two historic landscape typologies: classical French gardens, characterized by major axes that express power; and French picturesque gardens, as places of artistic experimentation. In this urban landscape, green routes and gardens reserved for creative pursuits frame and soften the central axis. 

Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

Vision for 2024 masterplan. Image © Gustafson Porter + Bowman

Gustafson Porter + Bowman wins Paris' Site Tour Eiffel Competition

Vision for 2030 masterplan. Image © Gustafson Porter + Bowman

These "corridors" and "glades" introduce biodiversity, as well as areas for hosting temporary events. such as musical performances and sculpture exhibitions. Thus, OnE compresses into one word the idea and ideal of a unified space.

Top image: Spectacular view from the Varsovie Fountains.

All renderings © MIR 

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