The Ourcq canal stands as a dynamic symbol of urban evolution, serving as a foundational element in architectural planning. Housing graced with waterfront view or immediate proximity to the canal experience an elevated quality of life, benefiting from expansive panoramas and verdant surroundings.
The canal embraces its role as a place for recreation, a promenade with wide cycling paths, away from vehicular traffic, noise, and pollution. On both sides of the canal, new neighborhoods are being developed on urban wastelands created by the exodus of industrial firms. Eastward, the urban pulse beats stronger in the Engelhard neighborhood, while westward, the Madeleine district unfurls.
The new pedestrian bridge will connect these two neighborhoods. Like a red thread, this new connection is direct and offers a stunning view of Paris and the park to the south. At the same time, its crosswise and longitudinal symmetry underscores its central position.
The structure, a trapezoidal steel box, brings lightness with its fine edges and minimal visual impact on the landscape. The railings are as transparent as possible built with vertical round bars and offering a transparent gaze, ensuring both safety and sight. The wooden handrails, embedded with LED strips, guide nocturnal travelers.
A choice of Corten steel, renowned for its red patina, bestows upon the bridge a combination of durability and distinctive character. This selection pays homage to Engelhard’s industrial history in metallurgy. Underfoot, a composite blend of colored synthetic resin and flint particles furnishes secure traction, even during rainy spells. Rainwater is adeptly directed through steel perimeters and efficiently managed by cross-shaped gutters.
While the canal banks remain untouched, V-shaped pillars stand along the towpath, seamlessly integrating with the bridge.
For Engelhard, a compact access system dominates the Canal square, marking the neighborhood’s epicenter. Meanwhile, at the side Madeleine’s gentle slopes with terraced platforms cascade towards the water, peppered with green pockets. In tandem with the broader cityscape, the bridge’s lighting design seamlessly merges with public illumination.
Architect: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes
Landscape Architects: InSitu, Verdi Atelier de Paysagisme