The Plaine de Plainpalais is an island resulting from the merging of old meanders of the Arve River at its confluence with Lake Leman. Its lozenge shape is a continuation of its former state. An open space at the foot of the old town fortifications, on the edge of past swampland, it has been woven into the urban fabric during the extension of the town’s outskirts. Gradually planted along its edges, for centuries it has hosted multiple activities: fairs, markets, exhibitions, games, walks and various other events.
The scene of major transformations during the 19th century, degraded by successive interventions, the Plaine is currently undergoing a complete redevelopment in order to continue to meet the challenge of hosting large events while being a major public open space in the heart on the city. The project is being developed over its seven hectares in three stages: a full refurbishment of the ground with crushed granite from Beaujolais and setting up technical infrastructure for the use of circuses, fairs and big events likely to be set up in the central part.
Large transverse paths oriented towards the main streets of the district allow practical, comfortable crossings. On its northern extremity, triangles formed by the paths host a skate park, children’s playgrounds and a pétanque pitch surrounded by generously planted areas.
This planted level is renewed and reinforced on the whole of its peripheral area by a triple row of trees under which take place the daily market activities. This provides a vast promenade lined with benches, fountains and lighting, restoring quality to this unique area.
On its northern extremity, the Harry Marc Park (inaugurated in 2015) has been conceived as a large garden, with flowers growing here and there. A circular bench has been added around a hundred-year-old fountain, providing a refreshing touch.
Location: Plaine de Plainpalais, Geneva, Switzerland
Client: Ville de Genève
Architecture: Groupement Circus :
Atelier Descombes Rampini SA, architects & landscape- architects
M. Carlos Lopez, architect – urban-planner
CKNR, civil engineers
LEA Les Eclairagistes Associés, lighting
Carmen Perrin, artist, sand play area & fountains
Project leader: Groupement Circus
Total cost (incl. VTA): 41’790’000 chf
Site area: 70’000 m2