danish landscape architects SLA and french firm BIECHER ARCHITECTES, together with developers emerige and ogic, won the international competition to transform a former railway into a new mixed-use ‘ecosystem neighborhood’. located in the site of ordener-poissonniers in paris, france, the project, named ’mechanical garden’, creates a new urban ecosystem by preserving the site’s remarkable industrial heritage while adding an abundance of green, nature-based public spaces and carbon neutral architecture. from this, a socially sustainable urban development for the heart of the 18th arrondissement of paris emerges.


all images courtesy of sla/biecher architectes/emergie/ogic

the park opens up views to the old railway area and create a unique urban setting



the new neighborhood, designed by SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES, will include a mix of social and private housing for 1000 new residents and 36,500 m2 of industrial design, arts, food and tech spaces. the new concept will include a new public school, a graduate school of design, offices, industrial design incubators, a cinema complex, a theater, a food court, shops and services, urban farming and traffic flow solutions prioritized for pedestrians and bicycles.


central to the development is the 1 ha big public park with activities and amenities for all



at the heart of the parisian neighborhood will be a series of connected green public spaces, as an open area __ for the citizens. the green spaces include outdoor restaurants, amphitheaters, band stands, and a large public garden of more than one hectare of natural amenities. the public spaces reinterpret the traditional cityscape and strengthen the values and the qualities of the original railway site. as such they reuse its central atmospheres, materialities, topologies and elements such as railway tracks, a trolley ferry trench, railway signals and other industrial remains to create a distinct and unique urban quality specific to the ordener-poissonniers site.


the nature in the park cleans the air and regulates the micro climate, thus creating an optimal foundation for a rich public life



rasmus astrup, partner in SLA, explains,the ordener-poissonniers project will act as a green generous gift to the city of paris. in the transformation of the old post-industrial railway site we have especially focused on the values and the qualities we want the new development to give back to the rest of the city. by combining the strong industrial character with innovative nature-based designs and public ecosystem services we create a new standard for nature in paris – where nature is everywhere and where humans, plants and animals can live and flourish together.


most of the exisiting buildings are kept and transformed into food halls, schools, creative educations, etc



clean air and green areas make strong social bonds in the public spaces, which are designed to offer a free, common good for residents, workers and visitors alike. placed in the densely populated 18th arrondissement, the public spaces will act as a green lung for the neighborhood and provide ecosystem services such as cleaning of air pollution, natural urban cooling, cloudburst management, strengthened biodiversity, stronger social integration and diversity.


industrial heritage is used to keep unique character of the public space and the area’s history



the public spaces will optimize the local microclimate all year round, making the neighborhood a better and more healthy place to live and work.all is designed to make biodiversity, natural amenities, sustainability and post-industrial heritage the starting point of the entire development of ordener-poissonniers – a radical way of literally growing a new neighborhood out of the existing parisian soil,’ says rasmus astrup. carbon neutral architecture the form of the new ordener-poissonniers will be optimized with regards to sun/wind to reconcile energy sobriety and quality of life for the future users.

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris

central hall



the spatial organization of the buildings favors the recovery of free solar inputs and natural ventilation while preserving views to the large landscape for all residents. the result is a state-of-the-art sustainable architecture and neighborhood. ‘with the new ordener-poissonniers we create a new form of urban ecosystem that will be entirely carbon neutral and extremely energy efficient through its bioclimatic masterplan. all roofs will consist of innovative solar tiles, de facto turning the whole neighborhood into one big solar power plant. free heat from the local datacenter is extracted and used in the buildings. all in all, the project will have an exemplary environmental footprint above 94 percent – with heating costs for the area amongst the cheapest in paris,’ says christian biecher, founder of BIECHER ARCHITECTES.

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris

creative education and industry incubators are woven into the urban fabric



the competition win of ordener-poissonniers marks the third parisian project for danish landscape architects SLA. the firm’s innovative nature-based reinventer paris ternes project especially has gained widespread acclaim. the three projects are the result of SLA’s involvement through many years in the french capital. the construction of the ordener-poissonniers project is set to be completed in 2024.

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris

extensive rooftop parks and public spaces provide splendid views to paris and its skyline.

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris

SLA and BIECHER ARCHITECTES transform a former railway into a green neighborhood in paris



project info:


project name: ordener-poissonniers

main architects: biecher architectes and SLA sub-building

location: paris, france

category: mixed-use development, public space

design client: the city of paris, sncf real estate and espaces ferroviaires (site developer) developers: emerige, ogic

architects: niney et marca architectes, bourbouze & graindorge and aavp

sub-consultants: oasiis (sustainable development), attitudes urbaines (programming), oteis (engineering)

project year: 2019

completion: 2024

photography: all images courtesy of sla/biecher architectes/emergie/ogic



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom