Community Gardens – ZAC Sainte-Geneviève

Gardens to create social links between residents

A housing development of three buildings, part of the Sainte-Geneviève urban regeneration area (ZAC), includes three types of housing: private, social and for young workers. The gardens are intended to create social networks between the residents. As well as ornamental shared gardens, the client's brief also called for the creation of community allotment gardens. 

The gardens sit on top of underground car parks so gabion retaining walls were installed to create the necessary depth of soil for food cultivation. In the thickness of the walls, containers were inserted and clematis planted to eventually cover the separating fences. A pond was created to collect rainwater for watering.

The ornamental gardens include a grey garden and a shade garden. Each garden being themed to its orientation, facing north or south. The layout, on a grid pattern, links the gardens together. Particular attention was paid to screening views into opposite appartments but at the same time ensuring light was not reduced by specifying plants with light and silvery foliage. 

Project details

Nanterre, Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris, France
creation of community allotments and a flower garden.
Semna / Bouwfonds Marignan
design & construction supervision
Brenac & Gonzalez - Architecture; Niez Studio - Landscape Design
Design to completion 2009-2012
Budget for works
380 K€
4 000 m2