Wet Meadow and Source of the River Norges

Territoires: The richness and depth of Norges-la-Ville, a french village near Dijon, is bonded to the natural source of the river Norges. Depending on the season and the river’s mood, the zone was hardly accessible so far, depriving the local population of the stunning beauty of this landscape. The purpose of this project was to rehabilitate the wet meadows nearby and enlarge the space around the source. A large wooden deck, terrace over the source itself, is the starting point for the walk. A pedestrian boardwalk, designed like a wharf on wooden stilts (oak tree, same as the terrace) leaves the domesticated space and crosses a symbolic border, stepping into a brand new… nimbus. The meadow zone is extremely wet, and often does the river overflow its banks transforming the area into temporary swamps. The transition between these two universes, from domesticated to wild and unpredictable, is where the magic truly happens.

An elevated access was necessary. Our on-stilts boardwalk carries the walker into this fantasy land without ever touching the ground, creating this levitation feeling. This choice is respectful to the ecosystem, sublimates the wild life, and is also a technical answer to keep the pathway up the river level when it overflows. Our wharf is crossed by some branching accesses to the river Norges, bringing new perspectives into this poetic journey, while a wooden bridge over the river invites to contemplation. The geometric contrast plays an important part as well, mirroring the river natural sinuous curves with the boardwalk radical lines. With a minimal man-made intrusion, this landscape is finally re-discovered, and served with an out-of-reality, undisturbed aesthetic.

Completed: March 2013
Client: Norges-la-Ville
Contractor: Territoires
Subcontractor: Teckicea
(structural engineering)
Area: 1 180 yards (path) + 154 sqm (deck)
Cost: 310 000 € bf tax