Owner: Paris La Défense, Department of Hauts-de-Seine and City of Courbevoie
Programming: arrival of a European school, renovation of public school and sports facilities, redevelopment and greening of public spaces, extension of Diderot Park and arrival of real estate projects
Start of works: 2023
Location: North Esplanade sector, Alsace district (Courbevoie)
The ambitious renovation of the Seine-Europe district
The overall development program for the sector is an operation led by Paris La Défense, the Hauts-de-Seine Department and the city of Courbevoie:
A historically mixed neighborhood
The Diderot-Audran district, renamed Seine-Europe, is now the subject of discussions initiated by Paris La Défense, the City of Courbevoie and the Hauts-de-Seine Department to improve the living environment of its residents and strengthen the attractiveness of the sector.
It has several assets:
- its original mix of offices, housing and public facilities,
- the presence of Diderot Park in its heart.
Today, the lack of accessibility to Diderot Park, the Mozart and Sainte-Odile alleys waiting to be developed, and the upcoming real estate projects (Odyssey program and future Alsace project) call for a coherent improvement of their surroundings and the arrival of new services.
The neighborhood redevelopment project involves the arrival of a European school, the renovation of school facilities (elementary school and middle school) and sports facilities (gymnasium), the greening and renovation of public spaces and the extension of Diderot Park. The study area covers 20 hectares. It is characterized by the variety of uses (housing, office towers, public facilities, park) and the overlap of urban issues. The existing facilities are aging, lack visibility and no longer meet current needs, which argues for their reorganization.
View of the Seine-Europe district today
A more pleasant neighborhood
Decided in 2019 by the State, the establishment of the European school will kick off a global project including facilities and public spaces, consistent with the operations undertaken by Paris La Défense to reconnect Europe's leading business district to neighboring sectors and break with the isolation of slab urbanism.
The identity of the district will be based on the renewal of the school and sports sites, the extension of the Diderot Park and the extension of its vegetation.
Map of the overall project for the Seine-Europe district
Education as the raison d'être
The general program of facilities in the Seine-Europe district covers 35,000 m2 of space. It includes 4 projects:
- A European school for 1,200 pupils, which will include a nursery school, an elementary school, a middle school and a high school
- A middle school with 600 students
- An elementary school with approximately 15 classes
- A gymnasium: two large rooms equipped with stands will allow for the expansion of sports activities (volleyball, badminton, basketball, indoor soccer, handball, etc.). Two other rooms will be dedicated to martial arts, body expression, table tennis and gymnastics.
Close to each other, the educational sites and the park will form an open, accessible and pleasant space. The sites will be linked by secure pedestrian links. The European School will operate 12 months of the year, including the summer. It will be able to host external events (shows, theater, festive meetings, etc.) as well as sports and extracurricular activities. The gymnasium will also become an important center of the "new" district for the schools but also for the associations of Courbevoie.
A green framework extending the Diderot Park
The recomposition of public spaces will give pride of place to the walk between downtown Courbevoie and the business district. While welcoming residents in search of moments of rest, the Diderot Park will be a pleasant environment for access to the educational establishments. Employees of La Défense, local residents and teaching staff will meet there.
The expansion of the park will involve the arrival of new uses, as an extension of the top of the park, rue de Strasbourg. The plant composition will be expanded, also towards the Seine. This greening of the public space will contribute to the reduction of heat islands and the re-establishment of open spaces. The attention paid to the natural water cycle is a marker of the project's environmental ambition.
View of Diderot Park
The studies are continuing in order to imagine public spaces that are green, safe and better connected. The streets concerned by these studies are the following:
- Rue Louis Blanc
- Rue du Général Audran
- Avenue d'Alsace
- Allée Sainte-Odile
- Rue de Strasbourg
New services accessible to all
The Miroirs buildings will be replaced by the Odyssey real estate program. The project, designed by three internationally renowned architects concerned with the architectural and environmental quality of their projects (Studio Gang Architects, Cro&Co Architecture and CroMe Studio) and supported by Primonial, is based on the interaction and scalability of tertiary, residential and commercial uses.
The central square will once again be open and lined with shops and services at the foot of the building. This new meeting place will be accessible via the new pedestrian and bicycle links connecting the business district to downtown Courbevoie, and will thus be accessible to all. The square will also overlook the square surrounding the European School, thus playing an essential role in the life of the neighborhood.
Find out more about the Odyssey real estate project
The Alsace tower is the second real estate project currently being studied and whose architectural and programmatic contours will be announced at a later date.
Strong ambitions to serve the various publics in the neighborhood
The continuity of public interest missions (education, sports activities, safe transportation, nature in the city) is the common thread of these operations. The project is conceived, on a global scale, as a drawer operation, which will allow access to temporary school facilities to meet the needs of the inhabitants.
These projects represent an opportunity for the affirmation of a city district connected to the city center and the business district.
The 6 ambitions of the Seine-Europe project:
- Revive a mixed neighborhood: mixing housing and tertiary activities, connected to the Louis-Blanc and Audran crossroads and to Diderot Park.
- Rebuilding school facilities and a gymnasium, better adapted to the need
- Strengthen the presence of nature in the city: extend Diderot Park towards the Seine and the historic axis
- Requalify public spaces and improve connections between downtown Courbevoie and the La Défense slab
- Create soft links to ensure the safety of schoolchildren, residents and employees of La Défense
- Involve the residents in the renewal of their neighborhood
The residents at the heart of the process
Paris La Défense and the city of Courbevoie have associated the residents with the diagnosis of public spaces and the definition of the reflections on the Diderot-Audran sector. This approach was based on 3 urban walks organized in the fall of 2021. In total, 51 contributions were collected.
This inventory is being taken into account in the design of the redevelopment of public spaces. Here are the main findings:
- A large majority of contributors emphasized that the neighborhood's infrastructure turns its back on General Audran Street. This axis could be the gateway to the neighborhood while giving more space to bikes, pedestrians and vegetation.
- As the gateway to Courbevoie from the Boulevard Circulaire, rue Louis Blanc suffers from a degraded image and a lack of visibility.
- The alleys are not very busy, so better lighting, benches, a bicycle garage, garbage cans and an inclined plane for people with disabilities and strollers are requested.
- Diderot Park, a destination in its own right, mainly from Strasbourg Avenue, also lacks benches, playgrounds...
Urban walks with the inhabitants
A global development project involving partnerships between local authorities
Paris La Défense, the City of Courbevoie, the Department of Hauts-de-Seine, and the Île-de-France Region are fully committed to the success of the urban project.
Understand the competencies and missions of each player:
Paris La Défense
As a developer in the sector, Paris La Défense assists the City and the Department in the implementation of development projects. The establishment ensures the overall coordination of the operation and its overall economic balance. It develops the land for the various public and private construction operations.
It is also in charge of project management for the redevelopment of public spaces, in the continuity of the Diderot Park that it has created and manages. Its approach is in line with the new raison d'être of the establishment, which aims to become the first post-carbon business district.
City of Courbevoie
The City of Courbevoie is the project owner and land partner.
As project owner, it will manage:
- The construction of the gymnasium;
- The construction of the final André Malraux elementary school;
- The construction of the temporary André Malraux school.
The Hauts-de-Seine Department
It is the project manager for the following facilities:
- The construction of the temporary Les Renardières middle school;
- The construction of the permanent Les Renardières middle school;
- The construction of the European school.
The Region and the State
The Region transfers the project management of the construction of the European School to the Department.