In July 2008, the Ministry of Defence announced the LRBA site would close in 2012. Created in 1946, this military site dedicated to ballistic and aerodynamic research is currently undergoing an urban renewal study. The study aims to take advantage of the site’s characteristics: its location on a wooded promontory on Vernon’s landscaped river banks, direct proximity to the Seine, a 340-ha plateau, good quality existing buildings and facilities. But there are also many environmental, planning and land-use constraints to be taken into account (SEVESO area, power lines, protected woodland, quarries, etc.). This initial assessment gives rise to four general orientations.
– Restructuring the plateau around a vast central clearing
A large central clearing lies at the centre of the plateau and radiates throughout the site. This so-called “space plateau” takes on its full meaning here, orchestrating landscape around it: the historic Brandt building of the future university area to the west, the mess-hotel to the east, the residential area to the south and the sports area to the north. This space can be seen in different ways in different programmes.
– 1 – A multifunctional meadow, a place for strolling, games, activities, etc.
– 2 – The central clearing becomes a compact and environmentally friendly 9-hole golf course. The principle of a large open clearing is maintained opposite the entrance of the future university zone, for an area of about 3 hectares.
Enhancing the built heritage
All along the circular driveway, the quality of the buildings and surrounding forested areas, which lie close to the golf course but are not in direct contact with the business zone, make for interesting plots. Their surface (1000 m² on average) leaves potential for densification that will double their capacity while maintaining the wooded landscape mood of the gardens (extensions attached to the rear corners of the pavilions).
A light recreational programme
The aim here is to enhance the site as a nature destination through a light accommodation programme of the wooden cabin type, which would be located in the preserved woodlands closer to the urbanised area offering an exceptional vantage point for views of the zoo.
A site with new momentum
While these different areas of the plateau focus on different functions (commercial, education, nature tourism, business tourism, sports, leisure, cultural events) they play off their complementarity. It is the combination of these uses that will inject new life into the plateau.