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Author(s): Alix de Mourgues, Joffrey Debrigode, Stanislas Skotnicki
Contributor: ENSA Marne-la-Vallée

Living the limit

Within the framework of our “Transformation” Master at the École d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoires in Marne-la-Vallée, we approached issues of urban evolution from a prospective viewpoint to anticipate future expectations. The Parisian centralization policy has led to the creation of residential suburban territories and many suburbs changed radically less than forty years after they were built, no longer responding to current expectations.

The solution would consist into transforming a now unsuitable existing built without ignoring its essence. The resources of a city should be the capacity for its inhabitants to interact and share the urban resources. The idea is to offer a “living together” rather than “living alongside” in a process of intensification, whilst maintaining existing buildings as well as possible. It would thus consist in an evolutionary transformation of the urban space developed over several time-frames. Our intervention in Tremblay-en-France’s Vert-Galant neighbourhood within the framework of the Wide Paris urban planning aims at intensifying this residential suburb situated near a train station. Its position in an inner courtyard coupled with the patio typology creates a new type of habitat that respects the intimacy of the dwellers and allows preserving all the dwellings and quality of life of the inhabitants of Tremblay-en-France.

This project stems from the will to live the next forty years differently, by provoking a current of collaborative empowerment through our intervention. We thus imagined that the rarification of some raw materials would lead to higher prices, therefore to a limitation of individual equipments. The launderette demonstrates that sharing equipment is possible. This project generates a fracture with the quality of life of the Vert-Galant, which is made up of well-equipped individual houses, few local shops and services and therefore very little social life.

We want to develop the idea of mutualization of facilities by maintaining the pleasant, intimate and private sphere. These spaces would thereby become privileged places to create social ties and interaction between new and old inhabitants through a range of environmental (use of local gypsum), social (sharing and interaction) and urban (new links) challenges.

Rethinking the transformation of the neighbourhood allows exploiting the resources characterizing the location.