Stretching beyond the natural constraints of Presqu’ile de Caen and into the neighboring towns of Mondeville and Hérouville Saint Clair, MVRDV’s competition-winning vision will transform 600ha of industrial brown fields into a collection of gardens punctuated by a mosaic of urban settlements. This ambition, titled ‘La Grande Mosaique’, is strongly based on respect for the existing structures and defined by small scale interventions that will result in a large scale structure vision for Greater Caen.
The proposal was selected from three submittals by the public development agency SPLA for being, as Caen Mayor Philippe Duron describes, the “most impressive plan”. It was commended by the jury for its “fresh view” on urbanism.
Over the course of ten years, La Grande Mosaique will transformation of former factories into a collection of gardens, integrate a highly connected mobility plan based largely on ‘soft’ traffic into Caen, add a number of new pedestrian bridges, re-reconstruct the city centre which was rebuilt after the Second World War in a rush and an improve the city’s connection to the sea.
A number of projects for the Presqu’ile has already been started, such as the new multimedia Library (by OMA) and a regional High Court (by BE Hauvette and Pierre Champenois).
MVRDV collaborated with co-architect Diagram, Pro Developpement urban programmers, landscape architect Territoires, sustainability and engineering consultant IOSIS and urban strategist Philippe Cabane.