Towards a Chrono-Utopia.
Welcome to the 24h/ 24 Island (Puteaux, France).
Title: Towards a Chrono-Utopia. The 24h/ 24 Island
Year : 2015
Function: Urban strategy and mixed program on the theme of leisure and new mobilities
Site location: Puteaux, France
University / Institution : ENSA Paris-Malaquais, Paris, France.
Tutors: Sandra Planchez & Xavier Gonzalez
A Shuttle to wake up the Island.
“Imminent departure. It’s 6pm.”
Tourists and workers of La Défense gradually leave the premises. Facing the mall «Les 4 Temps », shuttles follow one another towards this tremendous collective outlet embodied by the island of Puteaux. Once arrived to the north of the island, tourists and business people rush into the various leisure and entertainment spaces available. Nothing better to evacuate the stress of a working day. For some of them, the party will continue until the early morning. Regarding the aficionados of a more peaceful and natural atmosphere, the shuttle will carry them to the center of the island. They will continue their way on foot or by bicycle down south, enjoying the charm of an unspoilt nature located at the gates of the big metropolis. The remaining passengers continue their shuttle route and pass through the Bois de Boulogne. They will especially appreciate the genius of Frank Gehry, and the antique charms of the Jardin d’Acclimatation. Terminus Porte Maillot, everyone goes down. Goodbye.”
A local loop connected to the global flows.
The «chrono-real utopia» is an attempt to apply a projectual philosophy established at the intersection of spatial and temporal scales. It seeks to demonstrate how a local context can take advantage of global dynamics (tourism, offshore mobility, etc.), while cultivating an architecture and a sensible urbanism respecting and provocating at the same time the essence of the place. The creation of new seams between the island and its surrounding environment via the development of new mobilities was also an opportunity to design architecture as a dynamic movement. This bold experiment of the territory feeds the originality of the new developed environments by providing pleasure and memories to the user, sources of a new insular identity. Finally, a critical reflection on leisure, global cities and generic architecture complete the unfolding of a thinking on our modern cities in tune with the evolution of our society.
Eurythmy as utopia.
The main challenge of this graduation project, located on the island of Puteaux facing La Défense, consisted in the definition of a «chrono-urbanism» or «temporary urbanism», active 24h/24. It was therefore the occasion to apprehend the night as a forgotten dimension of our cities, and as a meeting space, made of unexpected events. City planners usually ignore the nocturnal dimension of our urban context, zoning still remaining essentially spatial and never temporal.
The site of the Island of Puteaux is here considered as the testing ground for this projectual approach based on temporality and the mixed nature of the bustling flows activated near the island. The established program attempts to reduce the daily contrast observed in situ (high density of people during the day at La Defense, No Man’s Land at night). Thereby, the program of the Island develops mixed and complementary functions in order to enrich the very mono-programmatic area of La Defense, literally falling asleep once the workday over.
Furthermore, the project also restores the spirit of the Island of Puteaux, real «event-island» and former territory of prestigious events such as the first French Olympic Games in 1901 and of countless industries nowadays missing. Both stimulated by the energy of global flows and a rich local history ignored for too long, our island is converted into «a time and energy machine» that never stops.
Author: Chloé Zimmermann