Public Out-door Space, French Landscape Architecture Competition, France, Architect, Design

Familistère in Guise, France

Landscape Architecture Contest – design h2o architectes

7 Mar 2014

Familistère Public Space

Design: h2o architectes

Public space of the Familistère in Guise

The Familistère is a vast housing complex founded by Jean-Baptiste André Godin in 1859 in relation with the stove manufacturing business. Until 1968, this Social Palace was the theatre of a unique social experimentation in the industrial world: the Familistère was a sort of utopia for an industrial society composed like an urban transition between the town and the park of the city island nearby.

Familistere in Guise 1

The development suggested by the office respects three fundamental themes: unity of place, heritage and experimentation.

Familistere in Guise 2

The project establishes a new readability of the site by creating a new sense of unity between its different existing parts. The great mineral square in the centre for example creates a new tension between the different buildings and reactivates the original axial planning. At the heart of the site, a series of thematic “islands” at a reduced scale allow for an easy and constantly renewed use. The program of events on these « thematic islands » is open to constant improvisation and experimentation, echoing Godin’s philosophy about invention and incompletion.

Familistere in Guise 3

Familistère in Guise Design – Information

Program: Public space of the Familistère in Guise (4Ha),
Shared space 20Km/h, Footbridge, bridge extension, urban furniture (bench, signage), lighting
Lieu: Guise (02), France
Client: Syndicat Mixte du Familistère Godin and
SEDA: Société d’Equipement du Département de l’Aisne
Team: h2o architectes (lead architect), Michel Desvigne Paysagiste (landscape architect), France Aires (Exterior infrastructure Engineer), HDA (structure engineer)
Mission: Competition 1st prize, In charge of studies and construction site
Specificity: Classified Site for Historical Monuments
Surface: 4 Hectare
Construction cost: 3 000 000 € HT
Date: January 2014
Photo credits: Stéphane Chalmeau /

Location:Guise, France 

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