After two years of further development, MVRDV has released new images of their masterplan for Caen in Normandy, "La Grande Mosaïque." The masterplan, which was first revealed in May 2013, re-envisions a 600 hectare area of the center of Caen and the Caen Peninsula, connecting the city to the neighboring towns of Hérouville Saint-Clair and Mondeville.
The design attempts to counter the effects of the area's de-industrialization, integrating historic and environmental elements of the area into the new masterplan. The release of these new images also marks the opening of an exhibition of the design, which will be on public display in "Le Pavillon" in the old city port until the 13th March 2016 in an attempt to engage local residents.
The masterplan includes housing, offices, mixed-use buildings, public spaces and infrastructure, organized around the idea of "the offset" as a spatial planning tool. This resulted in a proposal to reinstate "an urban version of the 'bocage,'" a type of hedgerow that was typical in Normandy and would have defined the area in its pre-industrial days. The resultant design features a secondary street network and shared public space around buildings and community areas which mediate between the existing and new parts of the design.
MVRDV describes the masterplan as "highly progressive in its scope, ambition and context," while co-founder Winy Maas emphasized how the design was "aiming for a beautiful urban valley abundant with hedges in the heart of Normandy."
Lead architect: MVRDV
Co-architect: Diagram Architecture
Landscape architects: Territoires
Urbanists: Pro Devéloppment
Infrastructure Specialists: Egis
Sociologist: Philippe Cabane
Model Maker: Made by Mistake