Square Jacques de Bollardière, Nantes

MAP [PAYSAGISTES]: Since July 2014, the public space of Nantes was completed by a new island, the “Square Jacques de Bollardière”. The island-shape of this new public space was developed to allow a fluent incorporation of the project into the urban context of the district imagining a riverside ambiance. It was at the same time a possibility to play on the initial sunken topography of this place, and to maintain its technical function of retention for rainwater. So two different garden and usage levels are proposed: a first one with direct access from the main road (rue du Général de Bollardière), on top level, and a second one, more secret and protected from the perturbations of the boulevard: the lower garden.

The wooden sculpture was designed to permit a large range of ludic activities (slide, climb, houses, and grades), conviviality or recreation spots (picnic tables, sun deck). At the lower garden other play structures come to complete the riverside theme (boat, net hammock, small timber islands, lying tree trunks). All wooden constructions were realized in locust, a European and naturally robust and enduring wood, though it can be used outdoor without any additional treatment. The garden is framed by an organic screen planted on the existing slopes, which were maintained on the north-west and south-east borders. The plant palette is composed of rustic, warmly toned plants offering a large variety of, florescence, autumn colours and foliation, changing during the season.

This garden was co-designed with the residents during workshops, in such a way as to establish a program answering their needs and delights most truly. New arrivals, merchants, nannies and pensioners participated actively in those workshops. Due to this design hand in hand with the future users, quickly after its completion the garden is really used as a playground and intergenerational meeting point. Nannies and families come to picnic at lunch time or for a teatime snack, small and bigger children dive completely into the riverside world and play.

Data

Location: Nantes (44), rue du général de Bollardière
Client: SAMOA (Société d’Aménagement de la Métropole Ouest Atlantique)
Landscape architecture: MAP [PAYSAGISTES] (mandatary) / TUGEC Ingénierie (civil engineer)
Subject: Adventure playground creation
Mission: Project design and construction supervision
Size: 1577 m²
Construction budget: 340 000 € PT
Completion: July 2014