The renovation of the Berthe district
The Berthe district is the one that receives the largest amount of ANRU financing for urban renewal. It is situated at the edge of La Seyne-sur-Mer, less than five kilometres from the beach, but it gave the impression of being insular, disconnected from the general urban fabric. Working with Oteis and Marc Aurel, and with ANRU backing, Ilex redesigned its public spaces in such a way that they link up to the rest of the town.
Berthe was a dead end, with little public transport, not to mention problems regarding social life and communication. How were public spaces to be prioritised and improved, with spaces for living and meeting? What was needed was an overall plan for spatial distribution. The creation of roads, both internal and connected to the outside world, transformed the area, which is now much more rationally structured. Its new image is one of practicality and fluidity.
This district was originally organised in a haphazard way around car parks, playgrounds and green spaces.
The ANRU’s aim was that the district should be redeveloped, with the emphasis being placed on residentialisation.
In this reassimilated area, the idea was to mark out safe, appropriable sub-segments, and to establish a new equilibrium, and an osmotic relationship, between housing and public spaces. Rather than « privatising » the community, the aim was to make it more open and sociable, with a substrate that would facilitate social life.
If the district was to be fully integrated into the city, the question of identification had to be addressed. Through a number of landscaping choices, the district is now becoming a Mediterranean ecosystem whose identity is related to that of the region’s « garrigues ». The territorial nexus, which encompasses the local road network, is included in the landscape. And in this way, visual connections with the horizon are conserved.