Clos Layat Park by Base Landscape Architecture + Arcadis + Les Eclaireurs in City of Lyon, France. There are often empty abandoned spaces in our neighborhoods that are not so often destined to becoming public spaces or parks but rather often taken over by real estate developers. The new park of Clos Layat was one of those forgotten places before the city administration decided to provide the three bordering neighborhoods of 7th, 8th districts and Vénissieux with the open space their communities were lacking. The strategic decision to “put nature in the heart of the neighborhood” as the deputy representative of the city administration Alain Giordano puts it, was taken by the city leaders despite the real estate pressure in the area and is of great importance for the public space structure of Lyon. The park adds its 3 hectares to the surrounding sports terrains which make altogether 10 hectares that complete Lyon’s green belt.
Clos Layat Park
The landscape architects at BASE were in charge of the transformation of what was a vast terrain without purpose into a vital neighborhood park. Their approach to the structural design of the parks elements was based on the existing surroundings of the future park and the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods that were lacking public spaces. [contextly_sidebar id=”SrWb9YVKkiZJDEqvNwdjwd9ZhoDCGdXK”] Once part of the historical Saint Jean de Dieu Hospital, the park is now bordering its forest on the south. The team decided to establish a landscape continuity of that forest into the park creating a variety of a densely planted urban forest on the south of the park followed by a wide meadow dedicated to inviting and discovering biodiversity on the north. Their aim was not only to introduce biodiversity but also a mixture of experiences and activities in harmony with it. Entering the Clos Layat from its main entrance one doesn’t perceive right away the diverse activities and surprises the park has to offer.The Inclusuion of the Forest One of the main elements of the Clos Layat is the forest making almost a third of the parks surface, hosting a picnic area under the shade of trees. Spaces for reintroducing species native to the Rhone region’s flora and fauna are part of the forest experience. Special observation points were designed as part of the purpose of discovery and introduction to nature. Another part the biodiversity strategy was to devise a corner of the park to planting diverse blooming species attracting pollinators like bees, butterflies, and others, located in the North West of Clos Layat. A Different Stance on the Traditional Playground One of the most important elements of a neighborhood’s park is the children’s playground and Clos Layat’s one doesn’t look anything like the traditional ones. The imagination of the designers has come up with an abstract forest representation called “the trunk forest” with nets and swings to climb and discover one’s abilities. The Inclusion of the Mist Pool They added a special touch with an exceptional feature – the mist pool – a play water fog over the bumpy surface is what transforms this playground into a magical forest interpretation for all to enjoy especially on a hot day. The Robust Amphitheater If they went nontraditional with the playground, they also did for the amphitheater as well. Yes, if you were wondering, those green steps were designed to serve as an amphitheater from where people can watch shows and do neighborhood gatherings. At the same time it is facing the playground and one of the sports terrains so people can also observe their kids playing a football game or simply enjoy lying on the grass under the sun. A few isolated trees planted on the amphitheater will provide some shade for its users on hot days without completely covering its interesting irregular shape. A 700m Running Path The sports terrains bordering the park on the west were integrated with the path network design as the BASE team wanted to integrate all existing elements into functioning as a whole. And how could a neighborhood park be without joggers, a 700 m running path was designed along the park’s edges together with a fitness area for a complete outdoor workout. Lighting Design An important feature to make a park come alive is lighting. BASEs’ partner for the project Les Eclaireurs took care of providing sustainable and creative LED lighting for the safe and entertaining night use of the park. One of the downsides of this project however is the vegetation, as it isn’t yet mature, which would really add to the atmosphere of the site. But that is also what I find amazing in landscape architecture – the fact that a project once completed never stays the same but grows with time and with its users.
Full Project Credits for Clos Layat Park
Project: Clos Layat Park Landscape Architecture: BASE Contractor: City of Lyon Team: BASE landscape designer mandatory + Arcadis (Bet vrd) + Les Eclaireurs (lighting concept) Location: Lyon, France Budget: €2.8 M Area: 3 hectares Completed: 2014 Show on Google Maps
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Article by Yuliya GeorgievaPublished in