Southampton quay occupies a unique position within the world heritage classified area of Le Havre. Located in the downstream part of the large maritime port, this seafront serves as an interface between the industrial world of the port and the urban world of the city center. Its composition, its belonging to a monumental triangle, and its relationship to the ocean – all intended by the Auguste Perret firm in their renovations – make of it the city's large port facade. The strong and simple spirit that the site exudes creates an obligation of maintaining its coherence and authenticity.
With conviction, passion, as well as with a certain radicalism, we propose the establishment of spacious lawns covering a considerable portion of the quay's surface. The resulting unified expanse functions in extending various urban practices to the water's edge without affecting the beauty linked with the spatial excessiveness of the port area. Renouncing the positioning that maintains a distance between city and port, this transformation leads to a sharing of spaces. The aim is to arrange major and important urban practices all along this continuity, while retaining the functionality of the port area.
The Southampton quay lawn creates a major new public space, and completes a continuous promenade along the water beginning from the city center. The pair the lawn forms with the beach located north of the marina constitutes an impressive figure of geographical dimension, appropriate to the scale of the city center.
City of Le Havre / Grand Port Maritime du Havre
MDP Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (lead consultant)
IHA Inessa Hansch Architecte, architect, urban planner
SNAIK, public lightning
7,7 ha (19 acres)