ROUEN Saint Sever – Ile Lacroix
Europan 12: adaptable city
Area:350 000
Client:Rouen City Administration

The Concept :

Traditional theories about space have been relatively static and centralized, with little interest in the dynamic shapes thet assert themselves more forcefully each day.  Cities, configurations and architectural structures have been considered fixed systems, in equilibrium in which the different parts were meant to be coordinated in linking macrostructures – or frameworks according to the rational classical model.
Our present approach includes a new dynamic understanding of complexity and ideas of structure and shape in the contemporary architecture.  Social progress, technical development, the interchange of informations and increased mobility have fostered a growing freedom in the occupation of space.  The contemporary city presents itself as a increasingly dynamic system, a process.

Our proposal for the Europan 12: ROUEN Saint Sever – Ile Lacroix – Adaptable City is a network, a structure in which two orders exist: the local and the global.  The two are equally important to the perfect functioning of the system.  Without nodes there is no network – just lines taking the information nowhere.  If there is no communication between the nodes they are no longer part of the network – just isolated points in a unknown environment.
The grid leads to a possible hybridisation between architecture and infrastructure.  This form of organization points to an elastic topography  – a greater capacity for linkage and deformability – in the system.  These are not, in fact, monolithic megastructures, totalitarian frameworks, but rather adaptable and deformable systems, open to manifold variablesand singularities (according to context and use).

These leads to an “operative matrix” – a more or less visible, evolutionary and flexible arrangement – capable of fostering relationships among different events but also the disposition for distortion and alteration, capable of articulating/ accommodating, based upon this capacity for elastic adaptation any change from the system or from outside it.

The three dimensional grid is formed by layers that reveal a specific order by superimposing levels of different types of architecture programs: office, residential, retail, leisure.  It is a way to maintain the independence, the fluctuation and the evolution of the diverse components of the matrix.
The urban environment becomes the  visible materialisation of the  invisible flows of information.  Data, stimuli and tensions operate, in effect, simultaneously within global spaces and within local spaces continually manifesting an interaction between combined networks and layers.