SPLA, a public development agency in Caen in France's Normandy region, has named Dutch architecture firm MVRDV the winner of an international design competition to revitalize the Presqu’ile de Caen. The winning proposal, which has been dubbed "La Grande Mosaique," calls for transforming the 600-hectare industrial area into a vibrant mosaic of gardens and attractive urban spaces that will seek to create a stronger connection between the city and the sea.
Caen Presqu’ile is a large brownfield located on a peninsula near the center of Caen, which was hastily rebuilt after Word War II. MVRDV‘s comprehensive redevelopment plan calls for reconstructing the city center while improving improve ‘soft’ transportation (walking and biking) within the city. The plan transforms former factories located along the port into a collection of vibrant gardens that are connected via new pedestrian bridges and bike paths. The architects have emphasized that they want to retain existing structures and integrate them into a more functional and inviting urban fabric.
According to the plan outlined by MVRDV, about 600 hectares (1,482 acres) of brownfields and former factories will be transformed into public gardens. To develop the plan, MVRDV teamed up with Diagram, Pro Developpement and landscape architecture firm Territoires. Work on some of the projects has already begun, and the entire redevelopment plan is expected to take about 10 years to complete.