July 2015

Green Paradise Garden

Mireuil neighbourhood

La Rochelle

From an social integration garden to a self-constructed public garden

Le Paradis Vert (“Green Paradise”) is a shared and social inclusion garden managed and animated by the Centre Socio-Culturel Le Pertuis. The Garden is very much used but its development is strongly limited by a lack of equipment. Only a small hut allows people to meet, change and store tools.

For a few years now, the Centre has wanted to turn this shared garden into a real public garden, open to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood and better adapted to the practice of gardening. After having developed, without success, a project of permanent equipment requiring a significant investment by the City, it decided to change its strategy and to undertake a transitional and demonstrative project in self-construction.

The strategy consists in creating light structures to rapidly improve the image and use of the garden, to raise the awareness of the municipality and to prefigure possible more sustainable constructions in the future.

The Centre asks us to accompany them in this human and constructive adventure.
We organize several workshops with gardeners and current and potential users of the garden ( kindergarten, nursery assistants, teenagers, families…) to elaborate a functional and architectural program.
The following elements emerge as priorities :

  • A covered hall : a central and convivial collective space that can accommodate up to 40 people to meet and organise events ; with a kitchen, cloakroom and tool storage areas.
  • An early childhood area : an educational and sensory awakening space for nurseries and childminders, with a sound wall, planters and adapted furniture.
  • A lounge for teenagers : a space for relaxation and rest, a little out of the way. 
  • Micro lounges : small sheltered modules installed near the plots for the gardeners.

On the basis of this precise programme, we propose sketches. Once the plans have been validated, we launch the participative building site. It will take three weeks to build all the planned facilities, with the active participation of many volunteers. 


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At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.