Place de l'Iris
Developer : Paris La Défense
Project management: Artélia (civil engineering) and Urbanica (architecture)
Surface: 6000 sq.m. of developed surfaces
Location: Esplanade Nord / Iris
Delivered in 2021
Paris La Défense carried out from September 2018 until the summer of 2021 the project to redevelop the Place de l'Iris, a new major piece of a puzzle at the very heart of the Corolles-Reflets-Iris district. This new square, at the foot of the majestic Saint-Gobain tower, will create a link and continuity between the slab and the city, public and private spaces, employees and residents.
A new square on a human scale
Well-known and appreciated by all, this square located between the Neuilly-Défense residence and the Saint-Gobain tower has been adorned since the 1990s by Japanese cherry trees in spring bloom. A natural spectacle that varies with the seasons and that Paris La Défense has of course endeavoured to preserve and even develop by densifying this plant network that is the asset of the district.
Over approximately 6,000 sq.m., the Place de l'Iris has been harmonised with a lighter, contemporary surface (sanded concrete) composed of larger slabs to improve pedestrian comfort.
A total of 51 trees have now been added to the vegetation and reinforce the character of the square. They will offer the spectacle of a living nature all year round.
New urban lounges outside the flow of traffic now allow everyone to take a break or have lunch. Pure wooden seats have been installed at a distance from the houses to preserve the peace and quiet of the residents. These seats are also integrated into the existing planters, in order to complete the overall coherence of the sector.
The chosen lighting columns provide soft lighting to guide pedestrians, while adding a touch of poetry in certain places through the projection of patterns on the ground, the integration of LED ribbons under the seats and the lighting of the cherry trees.
Continuing the greening and modernisation of the district
This project is part of a plan to renew and modernise the public spaces of the business district. Indeed, for several years, Paris La Défense has undertaken a vast renewal operation (renovation of public spaces in the Boieldieu district, transformation of the Esplanade, etc.), in which the Place de l'Iris requalification project is part of. This public space is set to become a new centrality. It also meets several urban objectives:
- To better articulate the high (La Défense slab) and low (North circular boulevard) levels by creating a new urban staircase, in order to link the business district to the city of Courbevoie.
- The pedestrian flows on the slab will be prioritised and the accesses to the towers will be enhanced.
- Consideration should be given to winter and summer comfort: massive vegetation to filter the wind in winter and create shaded areas in summer, installation of a light-coloured coating to reduce heat absorption by the ground and limit the urban heat island phenomenon.
- Play with a reduced palette of materials - concrete and wood - to simplify the reading of a complex public space.
- Create amenity lounges with face-to-face seating, available to employees and local residents.
A landscaping project to green the neighbourhood
The greening of public spaces is a major component of the work of Paris La Défense. The landscaping project of the Place de l'Iris is thus :
- 51 trees of all species, including additional cherry trees, compared to 35 trees previously
- 1,060 sq.m. of planted area, compared to 814 sq.m. previously
- Enlarged flowerbeds and planters, notably in front of the Neuilly-Défense residence
- Larger cherry tree planters to allow roots to flourish
- Greater soil thicknesses to allow for better acclimatisation of the plants
- A more efficient watering system
- Local and diversified plant species to adapt to all seasons and offer a renewed colour palette
Two new restaurant signs
Although the work on the square has been completed, another parallel project began in April 2021 in the heart of the square, around the parking kiosk.
Located at the foot of the skyscraper designed by Valode et Pistre, this large, enlarged square will, in a few months' time, see a commercial structure of around 300 square metres at its centre. The one-storey building with a wood and glass facade is intended to house two new restaurants.
What is special about the location? The facades of the shops are made of wood and the elements are transported from Normandy via the Seine to keep CO2 emissions to a minimum.
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