2016 / “INBETWEENS” – Category A – Sites


To live on the water allows mankind to escape totally, to find a feeling of freedom, it is an invitation to a journey. with free mind, we reconnect with the nature and we let it go. We lie oeacefully, rocked by the reflection and the streaming. But the water is also tides, swell, flood, the nature gets the upper hand … To live on the water is a balance between a return to nature and a return in what is vital for us to avoid the modern world. In these cities where we feel oppressed, we find the need to reconnect with the nature and the main part, the real values of life.It is within that framework that we built our project. We decided to answer global warming and urban densification issues by housing environment on water. It is not a question, in our opinion, of living on the water, but of living with the nature. We do not wish to introduce nature in town, but on the contrary to return to the bases of life before cities, and to introduce town into the nature… Grounds which flood, a vegetation which lives at the rate of the seasons... the landscape becomes alive. We free ourselves from our watch and from our alarm clock to let us be biologically rythmed by nature.

To answer this vision of tomorrow’s urban landscape, it was necessary for us to
find a site to introduce our project. We looked for a dynamic metropolis which is actually confronted to an important urban densification and close to water... it is quite naturally that the city of Nantes appeared as an obvious fact. Very attractive French city, since about ten year, it tries again and again to find refuge to the newcomers. Fishermen’s old village of Trentemoult, si-tuated in the municipality of Rezé on the left bank of Nantes and which would be more than 1000 years old, escaped these marks that the industrial activity left on the territory. But this exceptional heritage finds itself surrounded by the zones of activity which enclose it and cause very strong landscaped discontinuities, what does not prevent it from remaining a very attractive residential area. It is in limit of this district that we come to pro-pose our vision of tomorrow’s city. Situated in the full heart of Nantes’s agglomeration, rich in public transportation and developing more and more its green and blue wefts, we found a fallow land, abandoned in flood-risk area, where our project had to come to fit.

Martin Bédier & Martin Painsar

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