Square des bouleaux

Rue de Meaux, Paris, France 

Square des bouleaux

Rue de Meaux, Paris, France 

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© Andy Malengier
© Andy Malengier
TEXT

The transplantation of a genuine piece of landscape into the courtyard of the social housing complex built by Renzo Piano in Paris's 19th arrondissement, imparts much needed breadth to what was a very tight and constrained space. The lush component of the vegetation provides both equilibrium and added value to the rational logic of the Italian architect's work. A carpet of ivy stretches between the building facades like a backdrop for the birch trees, whose silvery trunks bestow a crystalline light to the space. Within this woodland atmosphere, the buildings retain a certain intimacy, despite their crowded condition. There are no interruptions in the space's contours disturbing the relationship between nature and architecture, apart from those necessary for access. The terrain is slightly rough and uneven, strengthening the impression of a natural landscape. Above the garden, an access ramp highlights the artificial, but not merely picturesque, character of this reconstituted piece of nature, a genuinely privileged place in the urban environment.          

data
Year:
1989 to 1992
Status:
Built
Program:
Gardens
Client:

Régie Immobilière de la Ville de Paris,
Mutuelles du Mans

Project Team:

MDP Michel  Desvigne Paysagiste, with Christine Dalnoky            
Renzo Piano, Architect (lead consultant)

Area:

1625 m² (17 500 sq ft)