Parc Andre Citroen Design - Andre Citroen Park Panoramic View
Andre Citroen Park Panoramic View

Parc Andre Citroen Design and Characteristics

The Parc Andre Citroen design, or more accurately the attempt to approach its design bases and elements, is the main subject of the second article in a series – a series dedicated to the presentation of this particular green space in Paris.

The project was created at the site of the old automobile industry of the Citroen, which was completely demolished.

The two architectural groups that led it were headed by Alain Provost and Gilles Clement. Their collaboration relied on the basis of the common postmodern concept and was achieved by the delivery of an important postmodern project.

Perspective Architectural Drawing of the Parc Andre Citroen

Parc Andre Citroen Design - Parc Andre Citroen Perspective Plan
Parc Andre Citroen Design - Parc Andre Citroen Perspective Plan

The Park Areas

Andre Citroen Park Plan
Andre Citroen Park Plan

Parc Andre Citroen

Parc Andre Citroen Design & the City

Parc Andre Citroen design had to meet one of the key terms of the architectural competition, which was a sense of continuity between it and the city of Paris.

This has indeed been achieved through the fertile and inventive exploitation of the urban grid of the French capital that surrounds the site. The sense of scale and proportions, both within the park and between the park and the city, is exemplary.

The smooth passage of the gaze, for example, from the surface of the central part of the work, the main lawn, to the northern (NE) area of the Andre Citroen Park and the adjacent part of the urban landscape, is achieved through and above the inclined surfaces of the strictly geometrically pruned plant masses.

Still, towards the eastern side (SE), the two large glass greenhouses located on the level created after the slightly sloping paved surface, which separates the area of the main lawn from those, also give a relevance sense of the scale relation between park and the city section behind them.

In addition, on the southwestern side, the building complexes become part of the park and the park is their privileged courtyard.

Parc Andre Citroen Design - Parc Andre Citroen Peristyle of Magnolias & the Large Greenhouses
Parc Andre Citroen Design - Parc Andre Citroen Peristyle of Magnolias & the Large Greenhouses

Parc Andre Citroen

Parc Andre Citroen Design & the River

The location of the project required to made Parc Andre Citroen design in such a way as to balance between the River and the City.

And if the city of Paris is dynamically present, the Seine is a strip of water in the background. So the element of water had to be included and stressed. And indeed, the presence of water is highlighted and repeated in every possible way – either as a small perimeter trench, or as a large channel, or even as a fountain and a waterfall.

Successful integration was accomplished by alignment of the water element; no design curve was given to it.

Parc Andre Citroen Design - Waterfalls Wall of Andre Citroen Park
Parc Andre Citroen Design - Waterfalls Wall of Andre Citroen Park

Parc Andre Citroen

Parc Andre Citroen Design & the Rhythm

Repeats of hard and soft materials, plants and structures, within definite spatial intervals, succeed to give rhythm to the Park.

They are not the Towers but their antipodes; they are not the 7 small Greenhouses but the Towers. It is none of these, and that is all. Together with strictly geometrically pruned plant masses (referring to the classic French garden style – jardin à la Française) that separate the small Greenhouses or together with the columns – Magnolies, honorary guard of the two large Greenhouses.

Two large Greenhouses that divide them repeatedly and geometrically set jets. And in front of them, in boxes geometrically arranged uniformly pruned Crepe-myrtles (Lagerstroemia indica).

Each and all of these repetitions generate a rhythm on the basis of their systematic discontinuity, protecting the project from monotony.

Bear witnesses are the sporadic and irregular tree plantings along the diagonal path, in the main lawn area.

Parc Andre Citroen Design - Parc Andre Citroen Main Lawn, Canal & Nymphaeum
Parc Andre Citroen Design - Parc Andre Citroen Main Lawn, Canal & Nymphaeum

Parc Andre Citroen

Parc Andre Citroen Design & Postmodern Elements

Parc Andre Citroen Design incorporates and highlights a number of postmodern architectural – and not only – elements.

These elements, philosophical (small narratives, self-realization, etc.), composition (collage, antihierarchy, thematic garden details) and choice of materials (a multitude of different materials) reflect and serve creatively the creators intentions.

Their consistent design utilization and high-quality completed project classified the Parc Andre Citroen – along with Paris’s de La Villette Park – in a prominent place in the history of French postmodern architecture, in the history of postmodern architecture in general.

Parc Andre Citroen Design - The Small Canal & Main Plaza
Parc Andre Citroen Design - The Small Canal & Main Plaza

Parc Andre Citroen

Relevance & A Despondently Minimal Visual Flavor from Parc Andre Citroen

A little earlier reference was made to the relevance of the scale between the park and the part of the city around it. Here, and in an acrobatic way, it will be attempted to show the relevance of another scale, between the experience of the reality of the Parc Andre Citroen and the unbridled or not fantasy.

Thus, despite the technological means that humankind has developed to the ultimate degree of admiration, man can unfortunately not be present in a place and live the real experience of this place, unless he is present.

On the other hand, virtual reality does not cease to be what ultimately is: the reality of the image, or more precisely the reality of the technological image.

After all, with these shocking deep – as far as Seine waters – thoughts, the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ declares its inability to convey the tangible sense of the park to those who have never visited it.

That is why – and for this reason, including the overwhelming majority of the members of the editorial team, except the well-known one – lists a few more photos from strategically chosen perspectives, so that the unbridled human fantasy sail away to the Parc Andre Citroen, with as much relevance elements as possible.

… Not that the opposite would have gone wrong.

Despondently Minimal Visual Flavor: 1. Parc Andre Citroen & the train bridge, 2. View of a small greenhouse in the Parc Andre Citroen, 3. Parc Andre Citroen fountain, 4. The Large Canal & Nymphaeum, 5. The Diagonal Path & the Two Large Greenhouses

Parc Andre Citroen

References

After sail away, the time to spread wings is coming, or in other words what common can have a train bridge, a small greenhouse and a fountain?

Basically, The Byrds with their Eight Miles High song.

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The Byrds - Eight Miles High
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  1. Ayers, A. (2004). The Architecture of Paris: An Architectural Guide. Edition Axel Menges.
  2. Racine, M., Provost, A., & Baridon, M. (2004). Allain Provost, landscape architect, Invented landscapes ’64-’04. Oostkamp : Stichting Kunstboek.
  3. Rocca, A. (2008). Planetary Gardens: The Landscape Architecture of Gilles Clément. Birkhauser.

Le parc André-Citroën fête ses 20 ans en s’agrandissant: Le Figaro

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