The Michel Desvigne Paysagiste group will plant the esplanade.

Le Parc - The Michel Desvigne Paysagiste group will plant the esplanade © PLD - Constance Decorde

Paris La Défense has just appointed the project management consortium that will be responsible for the sustainable metamorphosis of the Esplanade de La Défense into a vast 7-hectare urban park between the Agam and Takis basins. The team will be led by landscape architect Michel Desvigne.

The group's mission: to imagine a coherent and sustainable development of the esplanade's public spaces. The development principles should preserve Dan Kiley's original project while drawing inspiration from the experimental systems and feedback from residents and employees.

The Esplanade de La Défense, a testing ground since 2017

Le Parc - Nouveaux paysages 2020 © PLD - Constance Decorde

Le Parc - Nouveaux paysages 2020 © Paris La Défense - Constance Decorde

For the past three years, pre-programming devices, such as the more recently installed "New Landscapes", have been gradually deployed on the esplanade for experimental purposes. These installations are therefore not intended to remain, but to test the acclimatisation of plant species.

The group led by Michel Desvigne Paysagiste will support Paris La Défense in a global reflection on how to sustainably transform the esplanade, both on the surface and underneath (networks, drainage, etc.).

At the end of all the studies carried out this year, the consortium will be able to establish the future main development principles for a gradual start to the works from next winter.

Work areas for sustainable transformation

Among the expectations of Paris La Défense, the reflection of the group led by Michel Desvigne Paysage will have to ..:

  • preserve the historical heritage of the Axis by respecting and revealing the legacy of Dan Kiley, landscape designer of the esplanade in 1972;
  • reinforce the presence of plants and biodiversity in the heart of the business district;
  • to imagine simple, sustainable and economical solutions (reuse of materials for long-term management, conservation as much as possible of the existing vegetation...);
  • Adopt eco-responsible rainwater management; liven up the public space with quality water treatment for recreational purposes;
  • Improve the links between Puteaux and Courbevoie, but also between the top and the bottom;
  • Improving the comfort of use of the public space (shade, coolness);
  • to adapt to new functionalities, particularly soft mobility.

A pool of experience at the service of the project

A team of engineers, architects, landscape designers, ecologists and town planners, the Michel Desvigne Paysagiste group was chosen for its in-depth understanding of the expectations of Paris La Défense. In addition, the consortium has many references in the field of the development of flagstone gardens and emblematic public spaces (among the projects: the Boulingrins garden in Monaco, the Otemachi district in Tokyo, the gardens of the Ministry of Culture and the Jussieu campus in Paris, etc.).

The agency Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (MDP) benefits from the experience of its founder, a landscape architect whose understanding of urban issues earned him the Grand Prix de l'Urbanisme in 2011.

The Arcadis design office brings its skills in terms of structure and sanitation.

The Urban-Eco Scop company, specialised in urban ecology, guarantees the ecological relevance of the project.

The Ville Ouverte team, which includes some thirty urban planners, architects, engineers and programmers, is an expert in public consultation and will ensure dialogue with local residents.

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