A scheme for a tender to develop a project for “Extension du réseau tramway de Nice. Réalisation de la Ligne Est-Ouest – Section souterraine du Tramway de Nice. Travaux de genie civil et equi”, involving a construction-site project and environmental mitigation and landscape insertion interventions, plus works to create an underground section for the new T2 tramline of the city of Nice.
The line includes an extension of around 7km taking in the whole city centre.
The construction site for a work of such strategic importance in a context that is exceedingly rich in history and culture like the centre of Nice, was seen as an opportunity to define a fresh, broader, organic and innovative interpretation of the rational aspects that normally define mitigation works.
As a result, a cultural operation was proposed that offers a new way of understanding and considering construction work: a “project within a project” to further enhance the city also in this period of major transformation.
A methodical investigation helped identify the general lines and solutions to realize an innovative vision of a construction site that was both reassuring and evocative, one that could relate to and dialogue with the contemporary city and its inhabitants, with the inclusion of brands and logos that identified the construction site as a workshop, creating a strategic structure including traditional or interactive signage.
The solutions to insert it into the urban landscape focus on architectural capitalization of the construction site hoarding, interpreting it as an urban art installation that interacts in a powerful and stimulating way with the adjacent portions of the city.
In contrast with the regular geometries and orthogonal knit of the city blocks and individual buildings an architectural layout was developed inspired by curved lines and volumes.
The sweeping, oneiric appearance of the surfaces is a reference to the liquidity and buoyancy of water, a fundamental presence in the city of Nice, but which ideally recalls concepts of security and tranquillity, depicting a construction site that is “friendly” and “sustainable”, with an eye on the environment and residents' needs; first and foremost, the desire for a quality urban landscape.
The surface finish of the cladding includes the use of screen prints, evaluated case by case according to the context.
Further investigations concerned mitigation of the construction sites for the embarkation of waste soil at Nice's tourist port.
Through a careful design of the construction site layout it proved possible to maintain the perception and enjoyment of the city's sea view by creating a large panoramic square kitted out with seats; even the cabling for the moving walkways play their part in the architectural portrayal of the places, dialoguing with the city through reflective cladding that takes on the colours of the sky and sea.