Maubeuge zoo extension and reconversion
The Citadel of Maubeuge is one of the emblematical constructions of Vauban, genius of French military constructions of the 17th century. Once particularly efficient in the defense, the fortress is today entirely encircled by the city what once it protected. The presence of the ZOO inside of these majestic walls seems to be an evidence. The scarps and counter-scarps appear as parts of some natural landscapes of the tropics, and the green of the slopes and planes of the bottom of the moat recall the vast grasslands of faraway countries. The visitor is therefore easily transported to “elsewhere”, a key principle of contemporary ZOO adventure. A shelter of the biodiversity inside of a major historical monument, these are the fundamentals of the project. The ZOO reconciles the city with the fortress; it introduces life and activity in it without denaturalizing the historical atmosphere
of the site. A significant part of the citadel must stay accessible for the historically interested citizens to take a walk, without necessary visiting the ZOO. Therefor the project proposes a radical choice and places some of the historical elements outside of the perimeter of the future ZOO. These elements will be perfectly restored and freely accessible to all visitors. One of these elements is the Jesuits Bastion, a landmark in the city, offering several major points of view on Maubeuge and the countryside.
Inside the ZOO the scarps represent an existing scenery which has to be respected and used with complicity. On the visitors side, the landscape is omnipresent and creates the framework for the animal. The existing geography of the site is a great base to create a spectacular landscape for the immersion. The vegetation, the ground texture, the rock formations, the water in all its forms, a precise framing completes the classical set of the “trompe ‘l’oeil”.
The ambition of the project is simply to create a real “Fortress of Nature” in the center of the city of Maubeuge. Supervisor : SOGEA CARONI en conception/contructionClient : City of MaubeugeDirecteur de projet : Jean-Christophe NaniProject Manager : Andras JamborTeam : Paysagiste Mandataire : TN+ / Architecte : Atelier Michel Rémon / Zoologue : Biozones / Architecte ACMH : Etienne Poncelet / Scénographe : El Hassani & Keller / Botaniste : Albert Tourrette / Ingénierie VRD : Berim / Ingénierie structure et fluides : Artelia / Ingénierie environnementale : INEX Surface : 16HABudget : 80M€Year : 2012-2013