The scheme is based on a strong idea that is, combining or superimposing an urban centre with housing. The aim is to create a lively, central neighbourhood. Extending the large forecourt of the Opera House, the scheme creates a complementary network of varied public spaces – «the Opera passages» – to develop a real city neighbourhood with a strong identity. With the permeable configuration of the blocks, one can see the many different paths that connect the urban elements concerned. This opening lets the light flow and energizes the views from the inner courtyards within the blocks. The scheme’s overall form is created by carving out the blocks from the ground to the sky. The mass is gradually hollowed out to form a complex of landscape buildings. The unity of the project is defined by creating large landscaped courtyards on the upper floors of buildings. These courtyards have been carved out of each of the built masses to create dialogue between them and with the hardscaped pedestrian streets on the ground floor level.
Valenciennes, France 2012
A composition of linear strips which forms a topography on the scale of the landscape