Alexandre Soquet imagines the Dinan of tomorrow

Alexandre Soquet, in front of one of the presentation panels he made to present his thesis to his professors. Landscape architects design and implement development projects in the public and private sector. ©The Little Blue of the Côtes d’Armor.

He likes, his city of Dinan, Alexandre Soquet. Until he chose it as a thesis topic for his master’s degree in landscape architecture.

In Paris, he made his hometown known to his peers and teachers, during the presentation of his work, at theSchool of Garden Architecture.

More green

This Bobitalais of 25 years has given itself the (virtual) mission to promote the “crazy heritage that Dinan has” through the layout and lighting. Bringing more green to the stone even if Dinan is not as mineral as it seems. The city has many trees and green spaces but the future landscape demands, Alexandre Soquet would like more:

“It gives people the desire to come and that the inhabitants are even more in touch with their environment.”

To do this, the student was inspired by “what is done elsewhere: the lighting of the work of Sidney; the garden of Ouadaïas that highlights the enclosure of Rabat; Carcassonne, where the gardens and parks are were designed at the foot of the bastions; the development of the Mordelaise gates of Rennes, etc.

An army above all

Although it is an exercise, the young man takes into account the limits imposed by the rules of protection of the heritage. On the other hand, “the common thread” of his memory are the bastions, cataloged as Historical Monuments (1886) since the destruction of the Porta di Brest that caused tremors in 1881. The young man did not sweep clean of the past that he has. consulted in particular at the municipal library and archives.

Another limitation of this exercise:

“My suggestions are not based on technical studies and no financial evaluation has been made. There are therefore no budget obstacles!”

And inevitably, if his mega parking (read below) is the victim of an arsonist – this has happened twice in five years to those in the historic center and the municipality – it will not be enough to play the communicating vessels.

Videos: currently on Actu

Be that as it may, Alexandre, a great visionary of a world less than the automobile, would like nothing better than to discuss his ideas with the electorate.

hide the cars

Alexandre Soquet, Dinan of tomorrow
A three-level underground car park under part of the Petits-Fossés. © Dr

Statement by Alexandre Soquet : :

“Les Petits Fossés have become a very mineral space despite its tree-lined paths. The parking lots have taken the place of the gardens designed at the beginning of the 19th century and are often full. The rest of this space is only used for a few parties. Above the Grands Fossés, part of the promenade is a parking lot that no longer allows residents to walk under the cover of the trees. The rest of the Grands Fossés area is rarely occupied. »

Parking lots, cars, this is the problem for the future landscape designer:

“They take an important place in the landscape of Dinan. It is saturated in the summer, in high tourist season.”

A parking lot under the Petits Fossés

Therefore, he proposes to… create new places. But buried extend the underground car park of the municipality at the Trou au chat, this up to level minus 2 or even minus 3. Thus, the Petits Fossés would be completely empty of cars, in the air.

“It must also absorb the peripheral parking lots of the bastions.”

(As the most informal in Place Jean IV, at the foot of the Tour Ducale.)

A monumental entry into Val Cocherel

On the surface, he imagines “a fat area on slabs, pools as in the past on this site, more banks, bushes that are not too heavy”.

On the same site, the entrance to the garden of Val Cocherel it is too discreet for his taste. It looks more “monumental”.

It’s about encouraging people to stay in these little pits, to take advantage of them, instead of going there just to park or participate in the parties.

A journey between the Grands and the Petits Fossés

Place Duclos, more plants would make it possible to link a new road between Petits and Grands Fossés, via the rue Thiers car park, which would therefore be reserved for local residents.

Alexandre Soquet, Dinan of tomorrow
Tiers on the Grands Fossés merlon. © Dr

At the Grands Fossés, precisely, “why not create plant bleachers on the hill below rue Leconte de l’Isle at the Garaye parking lot?

“It looks more beautiful than the current ground stage. During the feast of the bastions, many people sit here for the tournaments, but you can imagine other shows throughout the year. Or just rest here.”

Green market squares

The student also has his idea on the Place du Champs and the Place du Guesclin, free of their cars but respecting the Holy Thursday market : :

“We can plant the squares by agreeing with the merchants so that they set up their stalls along a central corridor. The loss of space would be limited. Plant-based, absorbent soil is better than asphalt. The rest of the week, pedestrians appropriated the place. »

Alexandre Soquet, Dinan of tomorrow
The squares of Champs-Clos and Guesclin, without cars but trees as is recommended in the city today to cool the atmosphere. © Dr

A kiosk and a walkway

Direction to the music school, esplanade of the library, on which, Alexandre Soquet I would have seen a kiosk. A nod to the name of the establishment and to the past since a stage existed in Place du Guesclin a few decades ago.

“It could be a place for small events, with catering.”

It is also in this sector, completely transformed in the 2000s, that the student imagined a greenhouse along part of the bastion above the (abandoned) garden of the library. A bridge it would be connected to him to join a plan of the library and give another perspective of the valley of Rance. In these places also, an open-air cinema.

Bus boats on the canal

Alexandre Soquet, Dinan of tomorrow
A place of embarkation for the boats of the Rance. © Dr

Another idea that brings us to the port, below: public transport from the Rance. These “Chalands dinannais” will be “like the vaporetto in Venice”. A kind of Dinamo Bus star that would serve several cities along the canal, up to the Chatelier lock, thus participating in the decongestion of the city invaded by cars.

“There are ample parking possibilities in Bétineuc, at the Abbey of Léhon, etc. »

Alexander baptized them “Barges Dinannais”, in reference to the flat-bottomed boats that once plied the Rance. Another sneak peek:

“Each embarkation point would be represented by wooden towers in the form of square huts!”

night project

Alexandre Soquet says he “loves the enhancement of monuments through lighting”. But this is not very ecological.

“However, we can think of illuminating a park and the ramparts on an ad hoc basis and project historical stories on the monuments.”

A green crown

The Bobitalais always imagines “different types of gardens where you can come and develop your five senses in partnership with nearby primary schools”.
As a “neighborhood square open to all, at the foot of the bastion”.

His fictitious project therefore mainly consists in highlighting the contrascarpa, this empty space that stretches along the Dinan enclosure, to encourage passers-by to linger. “A green crown, a continuity of green spaces all around the city walls creates a natural space right in the center. We can therefore go around the walls not only from the top (at least where possible), but also from the bottom. As for these green spaces, they include a park, a garden where the shade would be the common thread of the design.”

To connect this succession of walks that go around Dinan, Alexandre Soquet evokes, in his memory, “paths that will be materialized by the same range of furniture and materials”.

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