La Vache Noire Shopping CentreEdit profile
THE VACHE NOIRE : ARCUEIL The Vache Noire shopping centre situated to the south of Paris forms part of a large urban regeneration program including retail, housing and offices. The town of Arcueil demanded the creation of a large green space at the heart of this new 'quartier' for this reason. The 50 000 m² shopping centre was conceived as being largely underground allowing it's 1.5 hectare roof to become a public park. The roof of the project is composed of two landscaped 'Tectonic plates' ; one which is flat and which is directly connected to street level, the second which rises up to a dramatic point soaring out over the 'place de la Vache Noire' to the south of the project. This second plate is held up by a series of 'Monumental' steel 'V' columns which contribute to the project's identity. The two plates are covered by 80 cm of earth, and are landscaped with fruit trees, maritime pine trees and flowering sculptures. The flat part of the garden is dominated by two elements. The first is a series of glass clad or flower-clad sculptures into which are integrated the ventilation and smoke extraction for the project. The second is a pair of flat glass pathways in the garden. These glass pathways double as rooflights to the two retail levels beneath. Because these retail levels are largely underground every drop of natural light is precious. The use of softened edges, milky white surfaces and natural materials contribute to the maximisation of natural light in the public spaces. The illusion is complete. Walking in the garden we don't realise that we are on the roof of a vast retail complex. Shopping in the commercial gallery we are unaware of the public garden suspended over us. The true composition of the project is only revealed when we walk on, or under the glass walkways where we can experience the two environments simultaneously!