The Euralille district being located around the stations Lille Flandres and Lille Europe (TGV station with the junction of the London - Brussels-Paris lines) is a business district in full expansion. For twenty years, man built there housing, hotels, shops and especially many offices. In a will to make this new centre of activities “green”, the Urban Community of Lille wanted to create a new park in front of its offices.
This park covering a large underground car park is called Le Jardin des Géants (“Garden of the Giants”) in order to pay homage to the traditions of the North of France. It is a pedestrian’s area and a green lung in a zone with quite a lot of traffic.
It is about the setting up of a very original work made of the Blue Stone. Indeed the park roads are made according the opus incertum technique using the blue stone in different fittings (frosted, bushhammered and honed) and are bordered with elements in crust, a very characteristic structures fittings because it is the natural layer of the Belgian Blue Stone. To create these alleys in opus incertum, the technique is a bit peculiar because the sections of the various fittings are broken into pieces on the spot and then the puzzle needs to be put together. A real headache, but the quality of the result rewards the carried-out work. The stone is placed on sand, without any joint and the unit delimited by fine steel battens.
Japanese steps of trapezoidal forms and with iridescent fittings also constitute a pedestrian’s area which will soon be mixed with very rich flora.
The Belgian Blue Stone was selected for environmental concerns because it is a local and natural material. This choice confirms the success gained by the Belgian Blue Stone for the urban developments in France and shows that it offers a multitude of possibilities.