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Garden of the Recollets Covent

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Jesus Torres Garcia, Jesus Torres Garcia Architects

Project Name

Garden of the Recollets Covent



Project Status

Concept Proposal

Year Completed




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Project Description


The Recollets Garden describe almost the great history of Paris, four centuries since the creation of the Covent in XVII to the nowadays configuration that integrate three institutions: the International Artist’s Recollets Residence, the France Architects’ Association and la Maison de l’Architecture of Île de France. The Convent became a Military Hospital through the XIX century but in 1968 is replaced by the Paris-Villemin Architecture School. In 1990 the old Convent turned in one of the hottest squat in Paris “Le squat des anges” but in 1992 the fire will destroyed all the history of the squat.

Nowadays the site is established by a group of multicultural artists and researches that live and work in the workshops/apartments constituting all the building. In a personal view we must said that our studio is placed just in front of this garden.

In an urban level the context is suffering alterations; the development of the Gare de l’Est train station is the most important. This new variation makes the building sense as a cutting diagonal from the 1926’s redraws, may the interior appreciated as a parisian urban plot that is described from the union of the highest fluent points between axis and arcs. As we know Gare de l’Est has been the east door of the city. This Garden is collecting all the flows that proceed from Oriental Europe.

The plan’s project integrated vibrations, resonances, movements, imbalances and dances. This energy that we describe is bringing together in the project. The plan is created by the central radiation of an old well from the Military Hospital that shape a complex fibre of movements who makes a new landscape view create by benches, glass curtains, a scenographic space and an organic wood bleachers.

Therefore it’s a detail work, a couple of well design unique pieces. The surface facing are designed by tine ceramic pieces fragment by steel profile, the same as historic patios in Paris. The benches are free, they create fluency dance, seams like they fall from the sky like the angels, from the Jardin des Anges. They are made by steel curve pieces and cover by white polyurethane mousse, imperfect and unbalance they constitute an important part of the new landscape proposed. The wood bleachers come like a fluid liquid, like lava, that fall into “the orchestral place” with no direction. The fluidly given is not a random thing because, like we make in our plans, the project is adapting to the place, the big threes that speak about the historic garden of the Military Hospital. Levels are accumulated, each centimetre; the covers are feeling like skin. This skin idea is repeating in all our work avoiding the alterations of floor. Finally the glass curtains resolve all the programmatic issue.

This project is a free write with a very high simbology and history that escape from the common place.
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