The landscape is a heritage, the fruit of man's action and the characteristics of his place of life. Everyone must think of their development project as their own choice, responding to personal needs and tastes, but also as an act for the community. In order to perpetuate this heritage, strengthen its attractiveness and ensure the quality of the living environment of its inhabitants, the Architecture of the Park mission is constantly hard at work to make its contribution: discover here 3 of its major projects exciting!

1. Create a common culture around local architecture

With their work (embellishment, restoration, requalification, etc.), public and private project leaders have a direct impact on the architectural harmony of our territory. This is why, every day, the Park Architecture mission seeks to:

  • The raise awareness of the quality of rural buildings and the importance of preserving it;
  • Advise them by providing them with technical help to encourage them to take a global view of their operations;
  • Accompany them in order to ensure the taking into account the specificities of the territory in their projects.

Furthermore, in its courtyard, the Maison du Parc houses a exhibition space for building materials and colors in Montagne de Reims. It brings together the most characteristic elements of local buildings, through models of facades, samples of traditional coatings and metal cladding. Presented life-size, these elements reproduce in real conditions the colors and appearance of materials that the Park recommends. Enough to encourage the conservation of works respecting the identity of the territory, and advise candidates for construction or renovation !

The Park Architecture mission also leads toother key actions to contribute to the emergence of a common architectural reference, including:

  • Examination of land law authorization files (PC, DP…) and the writing ofreasoned opinions promoting their good integration into their environment;
  • Publishing practical guides, information leaflets andeducational tools ;
  • Personalized experimental projects, such as the “Let’s invent the municipalities of tomorrow” ideas competition;
  • Workshops with architecture school students, to bring out new concepts and spark architectural emulation. 

2. Safeguard small heritage

In order to protect and enhance the small heritage of the Montagne de Reims, the Park encourages public and private owners to carry out restoration work. For this, he offers advice and assistance : he intervenes for any request and writes a technical note with a descriptive statement of the elements concerned to guide the restoration projects.

The Park also offers training and practical courses on traditional know-how and restoration methods adapted to old buildings (lime coatings, earth material, etc.). These sessions upon registration are organized in partnership with Peasant Houses of France, since 2015. The important thing? May ancestral know-how continue!

Thanks to the financial support of the Region, under the call for projects “Valorization and Restoration of built heritage”, the Park also supports several restoration operations each year in all the municipalities in its territory: vineyard lodge, washhouse, fountain, sculpture, porch, kiosk, etc. Between 2010 and 2022, 28 projects were subsidized for an average aid of €5.

In addition, the Park reinforces knowledge of this built heritage and the development of a concerted landscape policy with all the stakeholders, notably via:

  • Its photographic observatory, to understand the causes of landscape evolution;
  • Its contacts;
  • Its inventories and statements of municipal heritage.

For its part, the inventory of vineyard lodges, carried out in 2011, identified nearly 120 of these small buildings on the territory of the Park! Following this work, the vineyard lodge trail was inaugurated in 2013 in the town of Trépail: this marked walking route invites you to immerse yourself in this unique heritage, which bears witness to the history of the Champagne vineyards, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site!

Since 2019, the Park has also been carrying out an inventory of architectural complexes linked to viticulture (trading houses, grape harvesters, presses, workers’ houses, cooperatives, etc.).

3. Promote eco-construction and living together

Housing represents a significant part of our greenhouse gas emissions: reduce the impact and the energy bill buildings in a meaningful way is a priority. But it is also an opportunity to address all the issues linked to architecture: challenges environmental (energy, water, healthy materials), social (diversity, intergenerational solidarity, quality of life) and Opportunities (cost of construction, operation, pooling, self-construction) must guide the projects.

Eco-construction and new forms of housing

The Park is mobilizing to bring out innovative methods and projects, including architectural and environmental quality approaches (ecoconstruction). The objective? Adapt to climate change (efficient buildings, winter and summer comfort, health, fight against heat islands, welcoming biodiversity, etc.) and develop new modes of housing in rural areas.

Therefore, the park raises awareness, informs and advises on the use of materials to be rediscovered: biosourced materials and local resources such as straw, hemp, lime, cob, wood, stone, raw earth, etc. In 2023, with the help of local associations, In particular, he organized a complete program of events, exhibitions, conferences and training around raw earth.

In addition, it impulses and guides development projects for local construction sectors using local resources, such as wood, earth, straw and recycled materials. Finally, it aims tosupport the development of innovative forms of housing (light, reversible, participatory, intergenerational housing, etc.), and to reflect on their integration: a way of responding to a demand for diversification, while promoting social diversity and the deployment of new activities.

Reinvest urban fabrics and create the conditions for living together

The park encourages new land strategies that promote what is already there, in other words the reinvestment of existing buildings: vacant buildings, wastelands, abandoned buildings, hollow teeth, etc. Indeed, existing buildings are the main material and cultural resources linked to history, the landscape and local know-how. It is then:

  • To adapt existing buildings to local needs (housing, commerce, third places, etc.) and current comfort criteria (temperature, brightness, space, etc.);
  • To encourage the undertaking of renovation work, to combat energy poverty and improve the performance of housing, while taking into account heritage characteristics.

On the other hand, the Park works with communities to reconquer the urban fabric of village centers. Its goal: to make them more attractive and welcome populations into a balanced living environment, conducive to social bonds. By providing its expertise to elected officials (specifications, architectural recommendations, etc.), the Park works in particular to develop pleasant, friendly public spaces that respond to today's societal and environmental challenges (waterproofing, renaturation).

Since 2020 it sets up the architecture and landscape residency project, which brings together the six regional natural parks of the Grand Est around issues linked to rural areas. With the financial and technical support of the Region, this program aims to revitalize rural areas. How ? By imagining interventions capable of supporting the transition challenges of our society and by strengthening the culture in architecture and landscape of the territory's stakeholders.

What is an architectural residency?
The example of Verzenay!

These residences are designed as exploratory studies carried out in co-construction (with the community, the Park, residents and other local stakeholders) to meet the needs of residents in an approach of happy frugality!

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