the largest square
The objective of this development is to make the Charles de Gaulle esplanade a major and active place in the city center. This new square, the largest in Rennes by its dimensions (162 × 180m), is an important connecting space in the center of the city. Articulated on the urban grid, it participates in the north-south path – city center / station – and serves major cultural facilities: Les Champs libres, multiplex cinema, Liberté, Maison du Champ de Mars.
Its purpose to host temporary events – circuses, fairs, shows – requiring complete freeing of space, prohibited the planting of trees and the installation of fixed urban property.
polarized into five zones
The square is therefore structured around five poles, materialised by circular zones on the ground and specific lighting. These poles favor gatherings around events, such as street shows, and offer waiting and meeting areas near the facilities, shaping a sort of square.
Crossed by the main pedestrian paths, they fit naturally into the routes. Spaces on the outskirts are redeveloped and closely linked to the geometry of the square by structured passages. The 12-screen cinema complex on the edge of the square reinforces the esplanade’s vocation as a cultural venue.
wood, metal and glass
Traffic circumventing the forecourt, is simplified and constrained by pedestrian installations. The construction of an underground car park with 800 spots is helping to improve service to the district and its facilities.
Wooden kiosks and bus shelters frame and punctuate the pedestrian mall. Metal kiosks under glass canopies form a ball joint on the pedestrian path and mark the south entrance to the path.
the poetry of oulipo
The scenography of this vast available space generates meetings and exchanges, and by paying attention to uses, makes the daily life of the city more exciting.
In addition, the artistic intervention of the Oulipo, words with enigmatic meanings inscribed randomly on stainless steel nails in the floor of the square, allows the passer-by to create a story of his own as he goes along.
Structure, Roads and networks: Batiserf
Fluids, networks: Isateg
Collectivité Territoriale de la Ville de Rennes
YEAR 2002 – 2011
SURFACE 20 000 m²
COST 12,3 M€ HT
VISUALIZATION Charles Wallon, Vincent Witomski
PHOTOGRAPHY Stéphane Chalmeau
CERTIFICATION 1% Artistique