Héronnières district

Bringing a historical district of Fontainebleau’s castle back to life

The Héronnières district is one of the main outbuildings of Fontainebleau’s castle. Built in the 18th century to house the king’s family and senior army officers’ horses, this 12 000 sq m building has been abandoned for over 20 years. In order to save this listed building, the public body of the Château de Fontainebleau (EPCF) wishes to entrust its rehabilitation and management to a private operator while retaining the general oversight of the project.As part of the VINCI Immobilier - ADIM team, NIEZ Studio is responsible for the urban and landscape integration of the Héronnières district and the adjoining Clos des Ébats, which will be transformed into an urban complex (housing, seminar centre, shops, etc.)."I make war, I make love, I hunt and I build" - Henri IV (1553 – 1610, king of France, responsible for Fontainebleau’s castle expansion)The words of this great builder sum up Fontainebleau's heritage and identity forever. They remind us of how the royal passion for hunting with horses and hounds structured the urbanisation of the town and its surroundings. If the construction of the Heronnières is an emblematic illustration of this, their conversion is thought out in the same spirit, i.e. that of a balanced articulation between the intrinsic elements of the town's identity: castle, park, forest and horse.The design of a new road network made up of a prolongation of historical axes and new bridle paths will enable the district to be integrated into its current environment and anticipate the development of adjoining districts (Bréau, Lariboisière).Two tree-lined grids will structure the site according to uses and programmes: an irregular "open wood" grid around the new buildings, and a regular and orthogonal one to highlight historical axes and perspectives. images : @Malcolm Dax

Project details

Fontainebleau - 77
conversion of the Héronnières district and its immediate surroundings
EPCF (Etablissement Public du Château de Fontainebleau)
Vinci Immobilier & ADIM (developers) - Barthélémy-Grino (lead architects) - Architracks (associate architect) - Niez Studio (landscape architect)
4 M€
4,2 ha