The Espoir (Hope) project, renamed ‘Imprimerie’ (Printing press), has allowed us to take on the architectural design of a local centre along with the landscaping of a communal garden by putting to the fore the participation of the inhabitants of the L’Espoir building and associations from the neighbourhood, as well as the future occupants and managers of the project, throughout the different phases. In this sense, our task is two-fold: 1) architectural design and 2) follow-up of the project all the way to its delivery to the future users and set-up of a facility management committee.
A garden for the building and neighbourhood is above all a garden designed for its inhabitants. In the Saint-Antoine neighbourhood, very few locals have access to a garden and there are very few public spaces where people can escape from urban life. There is therefore a major need to create this type of space, to combine leisure activities and social get-togethers.
In our opinion, gardens are a space for people to meet, sometimes for the people in the direct vicinity and sometimes for the inhabitants of the wider neighbourhood. The garden should be a space open to all and allow everyone who wishes, to participate and improve their quality of life. Essentially a garden is an unfinished project which evolves over the seasons and based on the desires of those who live it. Because of this, the design of a garden and its equipment is based on evolutive and participatory solutions. We feel that the work on the project for the buildings has an impact on the whole neighbourhood. The garden of l’Espoir, and its facilities, has the potential of becoming an excellent new green space in a currently very grey neighbourhood, for use by residents, schools and associations.