In Levallois-Perret, on the outskirts of Paris, Parc de la Planchette is a sensory delight. Biodiversity has been boosted and the visitor experience has improved due to the renovation of the park’s pond. Flora and fauna now thrive, and people benefit from being closer to nature.
The 3.5-hectare Parc de la Planchette has been open to the public since 1924. Located in the heart of the municipality, it is the area’s largest park and plays a vital role in the densely built-up district. The aim was to have a larger water feature in the park that would serve to reduce heat stress in the locality. So, after various discussions within the local authority, a nature-inclusive pond was approved and went ahead with the help of regional funding. Today, it teems with flora and fauna.
The renovation was designed by Land’Act, a renowned design firm with four offices in France specialising in landscape architecture, urban planning and ecology. Its headquarters are just a ten-minute walk from the park. The ecological pond, with carefully chosen planting, is completely naturally filtered. The new footbridge and opposite observation platform now bring people closer to the water.
Streetlife’s Bowie Serpentine Bridge follows the meandering line of the footpath, leading pedestrians naturally across the water. Visitors can hear the water falling on either side of the bridge. The high handrail invites passers-by to lean for a moment and look out over the water and, depending on the season, observe the fish, waterbirds and skaters. The observation platform, across the water, was designed in the same style as the bridge to create coherence. The bridge’s criss-crossed, stainless-steel bars are reminiscent of the grasses along the shore.
For the handrail, the municipality opted for the highly sustainable material Bamboo Brown. Compressing the long bamboo fibres under high temperature and pressure gives the material a deep brown colour. Over time, Bamboo Brown ages through exposure to the outdoors, taking on a beautiful grey hue similar to wood. The visible fibres afford a smooth surface variation in colour and texture. Bamboo Brown is carbon neutral and can be recycled. At dusk, the fencing takes on a truly enchanting appearance thanks to the LED lighting under the handrail.
Streetlife designs its bridges in-house and delivers them prefabricated. This allowed contractor Val d’Oise Paysage to install the bridge and platform in just one day. The curved bridge could be transported to Levallois-Perret efficiently as it had been constructed in two sections.
Land’Act’s design represents an investment in not only biodiversity but also people and is a tremendous improvement. Experiencing the return of butterflies, lizards, amphibians, birds and lush planting has resulted in bringing visitors closer to nature and improving their well-being.