Parking in Soissons / Jacques Ferrier Architectures

© Architectures / photo Luc Boegly

Architects: Jacques Ferrier Architectures
Location: Soissons,
Project Manager: Stéphane Vigoureux
Project Team: Emmanuel Coudert (project leader), Corentin Lespagnol (image conception), David Juhel, Harold Chaveneau
Client: Communauté d’Agglomération du Soissonnais
Landscape designer: Agence TER
Signage: Laboratoire IRB Ruedi Baur
Structural engineers: HDM Ingénierie
Utilities engineers: SOGETI Ingénierie
Project Area: 12,250 sqm
Budget: 6.6 M Euros
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: © Jacques Ferrier Architectures / photo Luc Boegly

Located in Soissons close by the famous Saint Jean-de-la Vigne abbey, the new 600 space capacity “Les Yeux Verts” multi-storey car park is fundamental to the project redeveloping the Gouraud barracks into a modern business park.

floor plan

Its presence contributes to the transformation of the site and is one of its federating landmark elements. With its concrete structure, galvanised steel framework and timber cladding, the car park takes the form of a contemporary yet highly restrained urban infrastructure.

© Jacques Ferrier Architectures / photo Luc Boegly

The architectural style of the building is based on a clearly affirmed structure overlaid by a pleated openwork timber envelope that lightly and delicately clads the entire car park. On each level, a slit opens up in the envelope to provide views from the inside over the urban landscape of the town.

From the outside, these “green eyes” open widely to reveal hanging gardens that delicately spread into the surrounding façade.

© Jacques Ferrier Architectures / photo Luc Boegly

Subtle visual variations have been created using a single retified spruce slat module. This is achieved by adjusting the rhythm and angling of the slats, stepping away from the façades, using solids and voids, and incorporating light and transparency into the construction. These elements create dynamic, vibrant façades that give the car park a strong image within the town’s urban fabric.

© Jacques Ferrier Architectures / photo Luc Boegly

The signage takes the form of a series of ten photographic images (one per half-level) that, borrowing from the “memory” game used by Charles Eames, allows users to mentally associate the area where their cars are parked with an atmosphere, a sensation and a visual reference point.

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Parking in Soissons / Jacques Ferrier Architectures" 28 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Kurt K

    The timber slats would have been much more successful if there were twice as many and fewer gestural voids, which would have resulted in a much stronger facade.

    The way the parking garage sits on the site is messy, distracting, and irrelvant to the language of the rest of the project.

    There are way too many architectural elements and references(ie. solids and voids? hanging gardens? contemporary yet highly restrained urban infrastructure? Charles Eames?!) yet the ‘landmark’ structure comes off as bland and diluted.

    Do one thing well and let the rest fall into place.

  • Lixi

    Imho the most amazing part of this project is the column-free parking space. I don´t think i have ever seen this before. I would love to see some details on the floor slabs. The construction height seems to be really low for such a span.

  • James Clifton-Harrison

    Maybe they drew their inspiration from post-crash twin towers? Strongly agree with Kurt K. Too much is too much and really rather messy.

  • Shakk

    Isn´t wonderful when the architecture is everywhere and in all details! Kurt K and James is wrong and rather bitter. Haven´t you guys had clients like this? Love them for letting the architect give it all and even in the details. Stop talking bout the facade, it´s always bout the facade! I´m so tired of architects talking bout the facade like its the buildings heart and soul. And more slats would have given the building a more common facade you´ve would seen anywhere else in the world. What about the greenery? You don´t mention that.

    A almost transparent facade made by timber slats like this gets you talking and thats a good thing. And in the end; Its a parking garage, it doesn´t need a facade.

  • simon

    Decent job, for what is intended, if curtains were mandated (zoning, appearance laws?).

    I agree, the fractal shapes on the flanks are too open; perhaps not the money? Front on, I would bet this solution visually fails. No shots front on.

    The longer floor spans are absolutely conventional post tensioned concrete planks– nothing remarkable here. This is how garages are done, to the comment above…..

    This architecture as half spectacle, and stops right there.

    Architects are trying way too hard here–would have been better, if allowed, just to leave the curtains off and show the open spans (and the cars–after all, better architecture there than in the building).

  • bob

    Good job!
    Such a parking in France and in Soissons is amazing! .
    The mix between punchy facades & radical images is relevant.
    Well done!

    Ps: Google Earth images need an update, actually you can’t see the building but the site before mutation.

  • Rizky Muzakir

    Horizontal fins would cover the interior more effectively than a vertical one.

    I like the use of the carlstahl stainless steel mesh instead of regular concrete as a protection measure to avoid cars from falling over the building. is this really effective?I dunno, but it’s something.