In 2008, the principality of Monaco put forward the idea of an exceptional project extending the city into the sea. The task lay in building a fifteen hectare peninsula off the coast of Larvotto. Anchored fifty meters deep, and without embankments, it was to stretch a kilomter in length. The 2008 financial crisis ultimately forced the principality of Monaco to postpone their offshore extension to a later date (see the Anse du Portier Project, Monaco, 2015).
It is at the scale of the Mediterranean coastal landscape as a whole that we measure the scope of this exceptional project. Located in the heart of the bay of Monaco, the site is privileged by the beauty of its extensive panoramas and by its climate conducive to the abundant growth of nature.
Landscape continuity and transposition
Along the coastline, there are a number of imposing natural elements that influenced the concept of the project: these being the capes that dot the Mediterranean coast and whose more famous references are Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Fort de Brégançon, Cap d'Antibes, and Porto Fino. Modeled on these bodies of the Mediterranean maritime landscape, we proposed the creation of a new “natural cape” along the coast, whose dimensions and natural components would function in designing a new geography, providing support for various landscapes and new living environments.
The peninsula, an entirely legitimate body in the coastal landscape, is transposed to the site by artificial means. Its components, hilly characteristics, orientation, mineral and plant textures, come together to form a geographical setting whose language is familiar.
The strong Monegasque topography provides a number of singular qualities. The existing landscape is stratified, developing vertically from the ground using a principle in which public spaces are arranged in a succession of terraces upwards until reaching the roofs of buildings. This planting stratification and the accumulation of all sorts of miniature landscapes create the impression of an opulent and unified landscape. We propose applying this principle of stratification in the composition of the future park.
Each landscape stratum (the mineral and vegetal grounds, the trees, the water...) is conceived of in an independent manner before superimposed onto the others. This compositional technique allows for the different scales of the landscape to be approached consistently, and for the smooth insertion of the necessary functions for use.
Public spaces and park system
A vast amount of public space guarantees a diversity of uses. This public space is made up principally of quays, promenades, squares, and small parks. The different public spaces form a sizeable network, bringing the entirety of the site into easy connection with the city. The squares contribute to enhancing the smooth functioning of the site's uses, and in multiplying the number of remarkable viewpoints on the surroundings.
There exists an exemplary and unique interweaving of public and private spaces, brought about through the aesthetic coherence of the landscape as a whole. The unified vision of the landscape serves in abolishing the perception of physical boundaries between public and private use, thereby strengthening the “geographical” dimension of the future landscape.
The port is closely linked with the park system so as to benefit from the network of public spaces and the organization of the landscape. Along the coast, quays spread out continuously over the whole of the platform, allowing for the exploration of all the “facets” of the coastal landscape. The port therefore becomes accessible from each constructed block of the offshore extension, through a succession of squares, gardens, and park promenades.
MCDC, Monte Carlo Development Company Ltd,
MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste
Foster + Partners, Architects (Lead consultant)
Roberts a.m Stern architects llp,
15 ha (37 acres)