”Edges to edges”, research for the metropolis of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, 2014 © Agence Ter
”Edges to edges”, research for the metropolis of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, 2014 © Agence Ter

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The invisible cities of Ter

This July, the founding partners of Ter were awarded France’s prestigious Grand Prix de l’urbanisme by the ministry responsible for urban development. It seems that here in France we needed this official seal of approval to finally acknowledge the vital role played by landscape architects in urban development. And yet who better than these advocates of “increasing biodiversity” to ensure not only the sustainable development of our cities, but also their fertile future?

A photomontage composed of a tree-lined belt encircling Paris’ ring road encapsulates Ter’s approach. This image, illustrating a project designed in 2004 – the Linear Forest – shows a metropolis we dream of, where the infrastructures eating up the city are restrained by returning greenery. This was one of the objectives outlined 30 years ago by Henri Bava, Michel Hössler and Olivier Philippe. For these graduates of the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage in Versailles, the solids and voids architecture students and other disciples of typo-morphological analysis are used to seem more obsolete than ever. “We only see solids,” smile the directors of Ter, who prefer talking about “landscape structures”.

Click on the image below to read the full version of this article written by Emmanuelle Borne, and published in AA 427th issue.

427-TER-OUVERTURE


AA 427th issue, dedicated to port architecture, is still available on our online store.

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