The pedestrian promenade, dedicated to the Nardal sisters, connects the “Petite Ceinture” – the round-Paris railway constructed between 1852 and 1869 for freight and passengers that was gradually abandoned from 1900 onwards when the first Metro line opened – to the “Coulée verte Vercingétorix”, the emblematic axis that cuts the 14th Arrondissement in half from North to South.
This urban regeneration project, opened in 2019 and designed by Atelier Nous was inspired by bats, a protected species in the “Petite Ceinture”. The line is, in fact, home to the largest colony of bats in Europe.
The route of the Jane and Paulette Nardal Promenade, therefore, follows the structure of a bat’s wings and winds through four “lounges” where walkers can relax by playing games or sports. In a special play area for kids up to 12 years, a gigantic bat also hosts swings, slides and climbing walls. Another space has been designed with a huge table for meetings or picnics. Near the walls there are tables with decorations inspired by the games and cultural traditions of different countries, including: Peru, Nepal, Mongolia, New Zealand and the Tuareg culture. And the swivel stools can be used by people with restricted mobility. Last of all, there is also a zone for weight training in the open air. The vegetation surrounding these areas promotes biodiversity by constructing a landscape that is extremely varied in terms of its volumes and the different structures of the plants used.
Importantly, the project’s final design was created communally by local people from the former Broussais Hospital area. This included residents, junior and high school children, associations and architects who came together and shared their ideas and know-how in round tables, workshops and school events. The promenade’s vivacity and capacity to attract people is maintained at night too, with an extremely inviting, warmly lit atmosphere. The design integrates the various functions of the luminaires mounted on Maxiwoody and Anello poles.
The special pole-mounted Maxi Woody projectors are fitted with Comfort Street optics to emit diffuse lighting, whereas the Anello luminaires create small oases in the squares near the benches and seats to invite passers-by to sit down and relax.
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