"Coer De Ville" City Center
Location: Saint-Quentin, France
Area: 1600000 m²
Features: Urban master plan of the city, administrative, cultural and business center of the city - Coer de Ville
Author: Manuel Nunez Yanowsky
Date and phase: International competition 1st prize, project and construction 1980-1991

This urban master plan project of Le Ville Nouvelle of Saint Quentin en Yvelines, France, by Spanish and French architect Manuel Nunez Yanowsky had won the architectural competition held in 1981 as the project named "Coer de Ville". The aim of the competition was to create a new administrative, social, cultural and business center of the new satellite city of Paris - the city of Saint Quentin en Yvelines, which at that moment counted 200.000 ihabitants. The design context was represented by the existing residential districts built in 1960-70-s, and there was no core center of the city.

The main idea of the winning project was to combine the existing residential buildings with the new administrative, business and cultural buildings and spaces, which formed the system of squares, which were arranged following the example of the Roman Forum.

The project provided four city squares - the Water Plaza, the Railway Plaza, the Cultural Plaza ("Oval Plaza") and the Glasshouse Plaza (for comfortable promenades in the covered glass passages among the greenery in wintertime). Only two of them finally were constructed - the "Oval Plaza" and the Railway Plaza. There were two variants of the Cultural Plaza with the round and the oval shape of the square, and finally was chosen the "Oval Plaza" variant.

Finally the design of the buildings of the Oval Plaza (Place Georges Pompidou) was made by the architects Francois Julien and Roger Saubot in 1992, following the conceptual design of Manuel Nunez Yanowsky.

This was the first project in the after-war Europe which offered the underground trade center in the ground level - together with parking and with the exit to the market street (built). The project also developed a huge city park which opened the valley of the river Bievre on the way to Versailles.

Publications and reviews:

Le Monde (1980)