The island of Nantes and its HI TECH urban planning

The island of Nantes (fr. L’île de Nantes) is currently the subject of a vast urban renewal operation which should run until 2023, with a target of 3,100 housing units built in 2012 and 7,500 in 2023. The contracting authority is provided by the Société d’aménagement de la métropole Ouest Atlantique (SAMOA), a local public company, and the project management is managed by the association of the Belgian town planner Marcel Smets and the Uaps office.

The gradual disappearance of industrial wastelands (warehouses, factories) makes these districts attractive and extends the city centre.

Leisure spaces have been set up alongside the recent courthouses and architecture school. The machines of the island occupy the old naves of the former shipyards and at the western tip of the island the Banana Hangar, bordered by the Rings of Buren, lodges restaurants, night bars and discotheques. A graphic arts centre and La Fabrique, a space devoted in particular to contemporary music were created.

The site of the old Tripod is undergoing notable transformations. In this sector is a mixed district comprising housing, shops and luxury hotels with office buildings, which are built around a succession of basins.

Photo: Alex Monroe

Read more: Photo reportage ...