Rethinking the territorial links between Goussainville and the old village

Location : Vieux Pays, Goussainville, France
Year : 2015
Client : Europan
Surface : /
Budget : /
Status : Competition / Finalist Project
Team : Yann-Kevin Creff, Jeremy Germe, Chloé Thomazo

Give meaning to the context

At the heart of metropolitan and globalized trends, the old village of Goussainville is an exception. In a territory where urban value is based on proximity to the airport , how is it possible to incorporate a landlocked site with severe nuisance ? The problem of adaptable city pushes us to go beyond these oppositions to renew our vision of the territory. This is to replace a functional vision of space by a narrative that makes sense. In this context, the old village will only succeed its integration into the global economy in opposing it an intercommunal-scale story reinforcing the specificity - and therefore attractiveness - of local heritage. Its development should not be treated as a separate issue but must be based on its linking with its expanded territory. The aim is to counter a global development by enabling several local drivers:

- Integrate the old village in a new coherent territorial story
- Define a sustainable urban development strategy for all Goussainville inhabitants
- Propose an economic compromise between public and private action

Territory as an heritage

Given this landscape breaks, the Croult Valley offers a vision of continuity : watercress, water troughs, wash houses and mills bear witness to the earlier bond between the villages. The construction of a new territorial story is the opportunity to recreate an urban ecosystem with the neighboring municipalities. The recent integration of Goussainville in the Roissy Porte de France urban community allows the reactivation of these links to a local redevelopment and a new territorial governance.

This new vision includes a renewal of local mobility : the banks of the river, communal roads and pathes are all links to give meaning to the territory. This concern about territory makes us rethink the notion of heritage to extend it to local ecosystems : preservation and upgrading of this common asset is an improvement in the quality of life of residents, it is also a real tourist's attraction mean. The old village could become the unifier of this new intermunicipal development, at the service of its inhabitants as occasional visitors.

The urban loop, new link between Goussainville and the village

The drawing of a circular urban route - la boucle urbaine - brings back the old village in the mental map of the inhabitants of Goussainville. This walk of 8 km is a real tool for the reappropriation of the architectural and environmental heritage : through the village, it makes the link with the city center via contrasting spaces (castle gardens, fields and zone of activity Olympiades). Starting from the city hall, it joints the bois du Seigneur following the banks of the Croult. Punctuated by art installations in connection with the urban sound, the loop is a new way of inhabiting the landscape and understand its nuisances. Strengthening existing landscape qualities - rows of trees, topography - allows the creation of sound masks protecting the visitor. In addition, an audible weather smartphone application will allow people to choose their best output schedules to minimize exposure to noise. Beyond its isolation, the frozen situation creates a real feeling of abandonment among villagers. The implantation of a project's house in a former shop of rue Brûlée will signal his reinstatement in Goussainville city. This space will provide citizen hall services and centralize the opinions and proposals of the inhabitants.

The reconnection of the old village is not an end in itself. Instead, bringing qualitative spaces in Goussainville strengthens its spaciousness and allows the emergence of new practices. The village offers a dynamic associative network that we propose to house together in the Rue du Bassin in order to make them more visible and more effective. In addition, public workshops (heritage discovery, gardening courses, awareness to the biodiversity) will provide an opportunity to involve people in the old village rebirth. We propose to rehabilitate it into a leisure center so that young goussainvillois enjoy a privileged space for games. In order to reinforce the old village in complementarity with Goussainville, we propose to rehabilitate the castle into a leisure center. Young goussainvillois will enjoy a privileged space for games in the heart of an exceptional heritage.

The adaptable hotel, an innovative programmatic lever

The revitalization of the old country goes through a development of its assets, in compliance with specific constraints. To answer this, we propose the implementation of a modular accommodation facilities. In order to integrate it into the village, its functions will be separated into the vacant houses of rue Brûlée. The check-in desk serves as a tourist information office and meeting rooms can be turned into associative meeting places or telecommuting spaces. Also, the rooms at the hotel are adaptable for use independently or combined to become real homes, where the space in-between houses a kitchen. This flexibility reconciles the economic attractiveness of the village with Goussainville housing constraints : temporary housing are intended for people waiting for social housing or displaced by the demolition/reconstruction operations. The adaptability also allows multiple uses: wedding, corporate retreat, summer camp, etc ...

Balancing public interest and private investment

The amount of capital to be mobilized for the rehabilitation of houses rue Brûlée requires the use of a private partner. To ensure the public interest of the operation, we recommend the formation of a semi-public company (SEMOP). Land control of the City Hall here is a crucial asset. Rather than a simple sale of houses in an independent investor, ownership of homes represents a capital contribution. This form of exploitation allows the municipality to dedicate funds to public improvements, such as roads and new network system.

If the involvement of a private economic operator is a lever to boost the economic attractiveness of the old village, it is only the first phase of the revitalization process. Therefore, the adaptable hotel will allow open spaces to carry out the second phase of intervention including new shops and business premises. To ensure the quality of achievements, we propose a call for proposals for plots and buildings remained vacant. Buildings and plots can be sold as long leases at preferential rent in order to encourage the population of Goussainville to invest. This incentive policy will promote the establishment of new players such as start-ups, SCoP or citizen groups.


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