The Barracks of Pion: Developing the edge of the Park of Versailles

Versailles is often considered as the place of the invention of the classic city. Strikingly, the shapes of the city respond to those of the park of Versailles, themselves territorial expressions. This link between geography, agrarian structures and urban forms in the design of a park is an extraordinary reference for the actors of the contemporary city.

This studio focuses on a site adjacent to the park: the former military barracks of Pion. This site forms a hinge between historical landscape and an urban territory in flux including the Cluster of Paris-Saclay. The city of Versailles is planning to develop a new neighborhood on this 50 acre site. We will intervene within the framework of a real project.

The construction of peri-urban areas, their inclusion in an agricultural territory, the deciphering and transposition of historical traces, the invention of urban forms in relation to the creation of public spaces across the landscape are at the center of this study.

Like the creation of the city of Versailles during the seventeenth century, the studio will overlap landscape, public space and urban form.

Ultimately, because of its relatively small size, the site of the barracks can be considered an experimental prototype for concrete and controlled solutions. Students will propose with great definition a small district with its built typologies, its network of public areas at multiple scales. The studio program is very close to the real situation. Students will act as professionals and engage the clients during the site visit to Versailles.

The project brief, in both real life and studio, alternates between two points of view, architecture and landscape architecture. Each student will specialize in different area, topic or focus, studying either a specific site or design typology with the guidance and direction of Michel Desvigne and Inessa Hansch.

Irregular Schedule:
Michel Desvigne will be in residence on the following dates: January 22 and 23, February 12 and 13, March 12 and 13, and April 2 and 3. Inessa Hansch will be in residence on January 22 and 23, February 5 and 6, and March 26 and 27. Michel and Inessa will also be available for desk crits on the dates that they are in Cambridge. Studio trip: March 16-22