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SEURA architectes

Seura studio was founded in 1988 and it is leaded by three partners: Florence Bougnoux, Jean Marc Fritz and David Mangin. The company regroups around twenty architects and urban planners.

The studio is characterized by an in-depth work in:
-time: experience, transmission, experimentation
-research: “understanding to act”, with an effort of formulation, publications and teaching
-operational implementation enhancing
. relationship between landscapes, urban forms and architectures,
. upside down city and interfaces including the underground ones
. material shapes and plasticity

The studio takes part in public and private projects, works with famous private investors and participates in a few public-private partnerships.
Seura is interested in different scales and has solid various skills as landscape and territory (masterplan), urbanism and public space (urban expansion, urban renewal, infrastructure, urban design) and architecture (new buildings and rehabilitation).

After various urban projects, public spaces and housing buildings, Seura won the international urbanism competition for ’Les Halles’ renewal in 2004, including the garden’s restructuring, has taken part in the ’Atelier International du Grand Paris’ and has made a study about eco-neighborhoods in China, for the CSTB. It is currently participating to the international consultation about urban highways in Grand Paris.

Leading complex projects, the studio surrounds itself with experts in various fields. Each project is elaborated during a workshop associating all the experts in order to develop a collective intelligence going beyond sectoral approaches.

Links, lines and “lieux”

Landscape architecture and public spaces are a half part of the studio’s work, whether it is realized by SEURA architects or its partners. Our specificity in public and landscape architecture comes from our architect point of view which integrates underground dimensions (physical and technical) and infra-architecture complexity.

In fact, we think that the ground is the city’s raw material and its form, materials and quality have an impact on the quality of each user, visitor of inhabitant’s life and experience. In dense cities, comfortable pedestrian itineraries are determinant to create a sustainable environment –people walk or bike and use public transports despite their individual car. In every place, it is essential to organize the ground so it can welcome all types of events and contribute to everyone’s urban appropriation and, at the same time, clearly identify some urban functions such as ground plays.

This is what, at every scale, we intend to implement in each of our project: in Toulouse, Les Halles-Paris, Douai, Romans-sur-Isère and Pessac, for instance, the landscape and urban interventions are aimed to be simultaneously quickly crossed by the most busy ones, a meeting place for families, friends or lovers, a play space for all kids, a place for markets or events for anyone and, for everyone, a link or a respiration in the urban tissue.

Nelson Mandela Garden in Paris

This project is part of the global rehabilitation of Les Halles in Paris’ heart. Lying within a 4.3 hectares area, the garden created a clearly delineated and comprehensible single space that fully expresses the size of the site and recreates generous views over Paris.

The project places emphasis on a planted environment by introducing a large meadow between the wooded borders. Atolls positioned over this planted carpet create a slight sense of movement and provide a setting for mature trees.

A central lane crosses the site, reaching from the Bourse de Commerce building to Boulevard de Sébastopol and passing below the roof of the Canopée cutting across the promenade reaching from rue Montorgueil to Rue du Pont-Neuf. Two lands complete the grid running next to the wooded borders to the north and south and alongside Rue Rambuteau and Rue Berger. Adjacent to the southern, transept of the Saint-Eustache church, the stepped Place René-Cassin retains the “listening head”, the emblematic statue sculpted by Henri de Millet.

As it nears the Canopée, the park becomes an esplanade that combines water features, planted islands and a bandstand. Park keeper’s huts, metalwork and fibrous concrete benches all form part of the street furniture specially designed for this park.

Team: SEURA architects + Philippe Raguin (landscape designer), Light Cibles (light conceptor), ETC (displacement engineering), Saguez & Partners (designer) and Grontmij Sechaud Bossuyt (engineering)

Public spaces in Toulouse Montaudran

The project site is in Toulouse, south of France. It was known as the Air France Airfield and is characterized by its runway where the first aircrafts took off from. The site is surrounded by infrastructures, ring road and major railways. Its former noisy environment and rainwater management have been improved by the construction’s morphology and project landscaping.

The renovated runaway (1800*30m) has painted signages on the ground and concrete street furniture, allowing festive gathering. The alternation of built and open spaces allows buildings on both sides without corridor effect.

The site was chosen by a performing art company to settle on. Known for their impressive urban performances from Nantes to Hong Kong, Compagnie La Machine provides a daily presence with the Minotaur wandering around and creating a public space appropriation.

The site is composed of free access meadow and gardens dedicated to the memory of Aéropostale with 60 000 plants. First place to be built, the Gardens of the line – 3.5 ha – evoke countries which the Airmail crossed. They consider the quality of the soil and preserve views on surroundings by playing with colors, densities and height of vegetation. In addition, the urban playground offers various family friendly activities and the park extends around the museum of the Aeropostale with shaded concrete forecourt preserving the existing trees.

Team: SEURA architects + OLM (landscape designer), Arcadis (engineering) and ON (light conceptor)

Public spaces in ZAC du Raquet, Douai

The site is situated Sin-le-Noble and Douai, north of France. It was constituted by cereal fields and an old brickyard. The project goal was to link the city districts to counter suburbanization using five thematic parks.

Public amenities were delivered soon after the first dwellings: school, bio-mass heating plant, aquatic center were opened in 2016. The urban park was delivered at the same time, as well as two major places. More than 1000 inhabitants live on the site today.

In addition of its urban coordinator role, SEURA architects designed and built two public esplanades in front of major facilities, new homes accesses, public entries and parking.
The primary school forecourt consists of micro-bush hammered concrete and sheepskin concrete slab. Corten steel benches are inlaid in the frame of the slabs. Access ramp is surrounded by a green space, as an incursion of the urban park in mineral space of the esplanade.
The “Place Majeure” is made of natural blue stone that creates a random pattern. Combined with light strips it has a dynamic effect.
The East-West paved road axis connects equipment and offers parking places. The North-South Park enhances facilities and gives users spots to take a break between earth movements and trees. Allotment gardens in the truck farming park are operated by a fruit and vegetables producers’ association.

Team: SEURA architects +Atelier LD (landscape desginer), Solener and JP Traisnel (sustainable ingeneering) and Bérim (networks engeneering),

Public places in Romans-sur-Isère

Romans sur Isère, in South of France, has a rich historical heritage. It has a very good landscaping position by Isère river and offers panoramic views to Vercors. However, the old center suffers from a lack of attractiveness which induces a progressive disaffection of public spaces. Since 2016, the city has launched an operation to redevelop iconic public spaces. Several sites have been selected and are subject of ambitious interventions.
At the articulation of strategic axes, the “Champ de Mars square” now offers generous green spaces, new functions (including a dynamic fountain), and the amenity furniture was designed specifically to fit into the islands of greenery curves. By the Isère river, new pedestrian “place du Pont” valorizes the Collegiate church and is part of the pedestrian walkway of “promenade des quais”.
In the very center, the Perrot de Verdun square enhances its large majestic trees and now offers recreational and amenity spaces with the installation of illuminated planted atolls serving as a base and the implementation of a labyrinth engravure in the ground.
On the edge of the old center and promontory on Isère, Saint Romain park is subject of preliminary studies to open up and regain a relationship with water, discovering the Savasse river.
The existing landscape heritage and viewpoints are valued, hierarchical pedestrian paths and new features are proposed to attract pedestrians.

TEAM: SEURA architects + Atelier LD landscape designer and engineering

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