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Pedestrianization of the center of Amiens

Adaptation of the center of Amiens through the Roman trace.

Peatonalització del centre d’Amiens
Peatonalització del centre d’Amiens

Pedestrianization of the center of Amiens

The adaptation of the Amiens town center with respect to the pedestrianization of this urban area is the focus of the intervention. The works basically aim to recover the already lost main characteristics of the city. These features, which were mainly lost due to wars and to the homogenization imposed by the further refurbishment of the city, are understood as instruments devoted to building its future.

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran – Architect

Promoter

Amiens Métropole

Location

Project status

Built

Start date

1990

Finish date

1992

Outdoor surface

12000 m2

The project aims to recover, for the population, the town’s histo[1]ry basically through its aspect. Therefore, there are some elements that turned out to be essential, such as the design of orthogonal layouts of Roman cardus and decumanus, the parallel alignment towards the access pathways to the original Gallic establishment or the in-plant layout of the Medieval buildings that still exist (Malmaison and Beffroi).

During the construction works, the discovery of an ancient Roman wall gave way to the incorporation of another historical and unknown aspect of the pedestrian setting, not in a direct way (by digging and showcasing it completely), but in an indirect manner: by inducing the citizens to observe it partially, as if they were voyeurs catching sight of it through a keyhole. This process, which has been named “the town’s eyes” by us, enabled the spreading of small observatories of the past throughout the pedestrian area.

Gambetta Square projects itself across the Roman layout that comes from Des Trois Cailloux street. The mentioned scheme organizes the pavement as a framework of granite slabs containing brick tiles inside squares. This surface contrasts with another one designed with cobblestone pieces that were cut in halves, showing the smoothest side, therefore defining the pedestrian traffic. The traffic of vehicles is determined by the setting of the same pieces of cobblestones (now complete ones) and by the location of Street lights, trees, and floor lighting. The cobblestone pavement comes from Vergeaux St. and Sergents St. and enters towards the center of the square, where we can find an outdoor auditorium: a lower terraced area that starts at the current height (in front of the building façade) and goes down 6.88 feet, right opposite Trois Cailloux street. At this point, there is a pond that collects the water from the canal coming from Delambre Street and from one of the walls of the auditorium. The empty pond can also be used as a stage.