La Courrouze, Rennes , 2018-2020
A gigantic adventure playground dotted with stretches of water, apartment buildings, industrial wasteland, trees and embankments, La Courrouze, in Rennes, a former military site for weapons production, is undergoing a dramatic urban metamorphosis. One third of the development zone (ZAC) has already been completed, and its residents are waiting keenly for the arrival of the shops, activities and public programmes that will make the neighbourhood an exciting place to live. Residents of other parts of Rennes are as yet largely unaware of these unusual spaces where graffiti and different kinds of wild grasses share the same space, like the public spaces and playgrounds designed right down to the last detail by studio Secchi-Vigano.
In order to respond to their hopes and expectations, Territoires & Développement, the developer of the ZAC, decided to involve as many of the local residents as possible in the planning of what will be the heart of the neighbourhood, inviting them to put forward ideas for and even be involved with the conception and creation of their ideal amenities. But the question was how to go about it. In collaboration with GONGLE, the group of artists and researchers, we began by undertaking a study to get a handle on the challenges posed by the neighbourhood and to identify what would be required to create a better quality of life in La Courrouze. They came up with 35 madcap projects: more amenities were needed, but there were also lots of things to be preserved, and activities to get underway. These 35 projects were dreamed up in situ by all the people who took part in the project (local residents, stakeholders, architects, developers), who choreographed scenes and then photographed them. The three most popular – the most representative – were then elaborated and constructed at a scale of 1/100. Which is how it is now possible in 2020 to Dance with La Courrouze, Climb La Courrouze and Play La Courrouze !