In our view, designing major environmental equipment is an opportunity to rethink city resources. Often separated from
In our view, designing major environmental equipment is an opportunity to rethink city resources. Often separated from social and urban organisations, they now play a role in terms of structure and integration, which are both essential aspects of collective life, and require great architectural creativity. Pushed out of the town centres during the 60s wave of development, environmental facilities were then caught up by urban planning. This fact led to a clear-cut issue: their integration in the territory. These urban facilities differ in their scale: waste sorting centre, waste-to-energy facilities, maintenance sites, and prisons. However, it is possible for these buildings to generate social life via their reintegration in the city, their compactness, their association with adjacent programmes (gardens, cultural centres, services) and their easiness of appropriation. These architectural projects fully contribute to the construction of public spaces and landscapes. Furthermore, they can even reveal, amplify or repair them. Achieving this ambition of openness and porosity is highly arduous. It requires a significant command of technicalities and potential disturbances. Our pluridisciplinary team is capable of rising up to these challenges. We wish to find the missing link between man and his needs, while creating space and meaning for resources and their ensuing transformation. This quest forces us to engage with fundamental issues linked to major environmental services, that were often erased by a functionalist and segmental vision. It is therefore necessary to think long and hard about locations and their organisational and symbolic power, while remaining consistent with the environmental and temporal aspects.
A sustainable city cannot do away with this crucial concept.