Parc André-Citroën Paris


The underlying geometry is modernist, embellished with post-modern ornament. It is a fine product of a late-twentieth century landscape design competition. Alain Provost and Gilles Clément explained their design as having four themes (artifice, architecture, movement and nature) with an overall transition from urban to rural. The use of water and clipped plants carry a distant echo of the French Baroque. A White Garden and a Black Garden are set into the urban fabric and lead on to the park's central feature - a vast rectangular lawn sliced through by a diagonal path. Two glasshouse pavilions, separated by a pavement of dancing fountains, stand at the urban end of the lawn. The River Seine flows at the far end. One flank of the lawn is bounded by a monumental canal and the other by two sets of small gardens: the six Serial Gardens and a wild Garden in Movement. The park is on the site of a former Citroen car factory, which was levelled.

Reason to Be Selected

In 1919, Citroen built his processing plant on the Seine to produce a variety of products including automobiles. The factory has been in operation until the 1970s. Subsequently, it moved out of Paris under the capital's "urbanization" strategy requirements and the needs of industrial development, leaving a piece of more than 30 hectares of open space on the left bank of the Seine in the 15th district of the southwest corner of Paris. This area has been heavily polluted as an industrial wasteland due to the frequent berthing of barges that transport industrial raw materials such as coal and metals. It has been declining in the second half of the 1970s. In the 1980s, a political wave of restoration and reconstruction in France not only affected the planning of physical entities, but also swept the economy and other social fields. Citroen Park is the product of this political trend. The city government decided to build a park on this lot and organized an international design competition in 1985. In the end, two first prizes were awarded. The two first prizes were very similar in layout. In the northern part of the park, a series of garden treatments were adopted. The obvious difference between the two is that one scheme is perfect in geometric relations and composition processing. The center of the garden is an open large grassland; the other scheme is more elaborate on the treatment of plants and the environment, and the center of the garden is an ecological forest land. Finally, the two schemes are merged into an implementation plan, and the scheme is divided into two parts, and the two sets of designers are responsible for the detailed design of some of them.


The plane of Citroen Park is a series of large and small rectangles combined in a plane, and then cut by a hegemonic slash from start to finish. A series of spaces with rectangular boundaries form the axis facing the Seine. The passage perpendicular to the river bank provides the most efficient connection between the terminal and the factory for industrial production. The oblique connection on the site always exists and is an important historical information of the urban road network. Thus, it is the context of the venue and the already very clear spatial structure that gave birth to the Citroen Park we are seeing now. To be precise, the current Citroen Park simulates the material energy flow path of the original factory on the site.

Although we can't see the factory building of the Citroen factory or the mechanical equipment used in the original industrial production in the park, the traces left by the factory for this land have been presented to the park users through the overall spatial layout of the park. The way people walk into the park, moving, staying, and gathering on the land here is the inheritance of the historical information carried by the Citroen factory. The most prominent historical features of the "material flow of energy" site have been preserved and served for new uses. It is a trinity of art that combines three aspects of architecture, gardening and decorative arts. These three aspects are an indispensable part of the French life. More than three hundred years ago, these three aspects of life were concentrated into a castle for the royal aristocracy to enjoy; now, the artistic content of these three aspects has long been enlarged to the scale of the city, becoming each living in the city The daily needs of the citizens. Citroen Park is a place to provide urban residents with a garden art experience. People who exercise, rest, appreciate plant landscapes, and enjoy the air and sunshine seem to have not changed much in the past three hundred years. It is nothing more than a change in the way of sports; the music that is heard during the break, the topic of discussion has changed. People nowadays like to expose the skin to enjoy the sun. People used their lace parasols to enjoy the sun more than 300 years ago. In short, a way of life is continued and continues to develop in a new era. From these basic needs, the conditions that need to be met are still very similar, although they are hundreds of years apart. Therefore, Citroen Park inherits not only the form and technology of French classical gardens, but also a French life and spirit. In this sense, the blood of the first French-style classical garden is still flowing in the body of this post-modern garden.




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