Nice - Grand Arenas
Vieux Nice, Neuf Nice
The nature around us: the Mediterranean, the Var river, the mountains. The interaction of flows: planes, trains, trams, buses, expression of interchange and mobility. With all of this, plus the spaces that protect human activities, constructing a new centrality for the city of Nice. 
The site is a gateway where strong East-West and North-South axis meet. 
The first are infrastructural: the highway, the Promenade des Anglais, the new high speed train station, the international airport. They are the main accesses to the city. The second are green connectors: the riverside park, the tree-lined boulevards towards the river valley and the Alps. They form the thresholds to nature.
Water is the main element to deal with: the river floods the area from time to time. A system of plateaus and depressions, a hybrid topography, drives the excess water, provides safe refuges for the inhabitants and shapes the public spaces.
The Promenade des Anglais acts as an umbilical cord: at one side, the historical city, the “Vieux” Nice (“Old” Nice).  At the other side, a new urban hub will come into being: the “Neuf” Nice (“New” Nice).  
 
 
 
The East-West and North-South axis
The East-West axis run along the coast and are infrastructural. They are the main accesses to Nice.  
The North-South axis follow the river Var valley and form green connectors to the natural reserves and the Alps.
 
 
 
The axis on the site (green connectors)
The layout of the site is prefigured by the presence of the East-West and North-South axis. The public spaces run along these axis. 
They form a mesh of “green axis” that weave the area. 
 
 
 
 
The North-South axis (green connectors) / axonometric
 
 
 
Starting conditions
The project has to respect local regulations related to the infrstructures and the river. Firstly, the airport establishes the maximum heights of the buildings according to the space that planes need for takeoff and landing, and the obstacle free area required by the guidance radars. Secondly, the river Var will flood the site. The water risk prevention plan specifies that permanent uses like housing or offices can only take place above flood water level. Thirdly, there are some social housing slabs to be kept. And finally, the railway company demands additional land for the line’s enlargement. These conditions result in the maximum building heights allowed for each area. Some of these heights can be surpassed by punctual derogations of the radar regulations.
 
 
The volumes / Plan
The built volumes concentrate height in strategic points while respecting the airport regulations. Their height can increase the farther they are from the airport. Some punctual high-rises are proposed where it seems adequate from an urban point of view, and derogations seem plausible.
 
 
 
The volumes / Axonometric
 
 
Plateaus / Flood management
Flood water will be guided so that it causes the minimum damage and that the inhabitants of the area have safe areas to gather in case of emergency. The guidance of the flood is achieved through a system of plateaus and depressions. Some are alreay existing, and some are proposed where urbanisation will take place.
 
Plateaus / Resulting flood water levels
A detailed hydraulic model was calculated so that precise maximum water levels where obtained. An effort was made to minimize the impact on the airport. 
 
 
Principles build-up
 
 
 
Accessibility
The heaviest circulations are concentrated mainly at the perimeter of the site. Inside the site the scheme is based on the idea of supra-block, where car traffic and parking accesses are located peripherically in order to free the area for pedestrians. 
 
 
 
Program
The program is mixed to ensure a maximum of liveliness. There is a dominant component of offices, followed by housing and retail. The main facilities include the new High Speed Train station, the Fair and Congress Center, and public equipments like school, library, civic center, nursery, etc.
 
 
Grand Arenas / Phasing
The phasing starts with the Nice-Aéroport Multimodal Hub and expands successively towards the river and the outermost parts of the city.
 
 
 
Master Plan
 
 
The East-West axis (infrastructure and public spaces)
 
 
The North-South axis (green connectors)
 
 
View from East towards the river
 
 
View from the river towards the old city
 
 
Nice-Aéroport Multimodal Hub / Transportation modes
The Nice-Aéroport Multimodal Hub is the core of the Grand Arénas and the first part to be realized. It’s a mobility exchanger between plane, train, bus and tramway. The buses that come from the region stop at the bus station and then passengers transfer to the tramway to reach the city’s historical center. The tramway also links the High Speed Train station to the International Airport terminals along a pedestrian boulevard, the “Axe du Pôle”. Terminal 1 and the train station are within walking distance along this boulevard.
 

 
Linking mobility levels: the Topography
There are 3 main levels that need to be connected, with a roughly 3m height difference between each other: tramway lavel at +3m, existing level at +6m and train level at +9m.The Nice Municipality preliminary proposal was a continuous sunken tramway level, where the link with the upper levels was local and not obvious. We proposed instead a generous connection through sloping planes and warped surfaces between the 3 levels; the topography.
 
 

 
The Topography / first version
The first version of the topography had the lowest possible slopes and was, consequently, very extensive.  
 
 
The Topography / final version with levels and slopes
The final version of the topography was optimised to reduce its extension, helping to manage the phasing of the project. Also the transitions between existing and new were fine-tuned.
 
 
 
Top view plan 
 
 
High speed train station level
 
 
Tramway and bus station level
 
 
Nice-aéroport multimodal hub / Sections
The High Speed Train station acts as a bridge linking the two sides of the railway tracks. Buildings free space at ground level to allow maximum pedestrian circulation capacity.
 
 
 
The Eco-park / Detail
In a mediterranean context, with sparse and heavy rains, the Eco-Park turns into a water retention and accumulation device. Thus, it can almost satisfy its own watering needs. the shape of the park is that of a bowl which accumulates rain water at its central spine. This central spine is composed of a pedestrian route plus a linear gravel bed with humid plants. Under the gravel there is a first porous reservoir which acts like a sponge (Atlantis system), giving the water back gradually to the soil as it dries up. Water excedent from this reservoir is stored in an impermeable reservoir placed just under the path. This second reservoir provides a supply for watering the park. 
 
 
 
Nice-Aéroport Multimodal Hub / Phasing linked to accessibility
 
 
“Le triangle du tramway” / tramway - bus - train exchanger
A detailed study of the tramway-bus-tain exchanger was made. The tramway stops and the bus station are placed at the lower level. At the higher level we find the train platforms. Both levels are connected by inclined planes, ramps and outdoors and indoors stairs, escalators and elevators. 
 
 
“Le triangle du tramway” / Layers
 
 
“Le triangle du tramway” / Views
 
 
Nice-Aéroport Multimodal Hub / View from the airport 
 
 
“Le Parvis” (station boulevard) / View towards the river
 
 
“L’axe du Pôle” / The axis from the tramway and bus stations to the airport
 
 
The Eco-Park
 
 
“Le Parvis” (the train station boulevard)
 
 
“L’Axe du Pôle / View towards the airport and the sea
Nice - Grand Arenas
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Nice - Grand Arenas

Nice, French Riviera, France, 2011- Working as project leader at mateoarquitectura (Josep Lluís Mateo) Status: Commission under development Cli Read More
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