Promoting Natural Spaces

Parks and Gardens Agency in Ile-de-France (AEV)

The Cormeilles-en-Parisis Fort, situated at the far end of the hilly area of the same name and concealed from sight, was built as part of the Paris defence system immediately after France’s military defeat of 1870. The best preserved of all the military forts constructed at the time, it was known as "Fort number 1" or "Prototype Fort" and is notable for its ornamented architecture of brick and stone. An atypical example of the regional Agency’s heritage, it is exceptionally well preserved, managed as it is by the Association of Friends of the Fort who have their offices there, from where they flaunt its military history and rent it out for film shoots. Today the site has little obvious connection to its surroundings.

Wondering if there might be other ways of exploiting the site, the AEV and the conurbation authority Val Parisis invited Cuesta, l’Agence Ter and Mosquito to undertake a study with the aim of carrying out a diagnosis of the site’s potential and developing a strategy to enhance it.
We suggested highlighting the Fort’s history and features as well as its constraints, which could be transformed into opportunities. Our proposal, "Active Fort" concentrates on the idea of refocusing the site as an integral part of the region, on several different levels. We proposed testing various ideas during the activation phase, promoting a plurality of usages that would allow for a diverse array of economic models, and recording the metamorphosis of the Fort in progressive stages in order to put forward a variety of different possible uses.