The project has three aims: first creating a pleasant link between the port and the Citadel of Bastia, second designing a theatre of greenery, and last but not least restoring the Romieu garden. The intervention takes place in the heart of the citadel on a very steep slope, and it expresses the objective of retrieving that citadel which has become a medium for a public space development between the city and the water.
From belvederes to platforms, from staircases to ramps, from gardens to squares, the project multiplies the spaces of contemplation and strolls, offering visitors the choice of sequenced routes, alternating between openings on the horizon and narrowing on the rock, the walls and the vegetation.
Architecture stands out here as a tool for resolving and clarifying the geometries of the site, hence the adoption of a plain writing which borrows from the adjoining walls their roughness and mass. The shape of the elevator is similar to a retaining wall leaning against the rocks, in continuity with the parapets of the citadel.
Materials are at the heart of the project’ intentions.
A measured and fair choice is translated in the use of aggregates extracted from the cliff for the production of a unique concrete.
The material is then transfigured. Usually innocuous or industrial, concrete becomes artisanal and exceptional. In this case the “dry concrete” has a uniform gray-beige shade, and is cast in place as an architectonic cladding for all vertical and horizontal structures. This unique fare-faced concrete also has a neat and stamped look after a special care of the formwork.
In addition to its finish, and being composed exclusively with the aggregates of the site (Cipollino marble + polished schist) the concrete is executed by tamping beds every 16cm on a formwork height of 48cm. Concrete with its asperities and hues, reflect thereby deeply the site and refer to the identity of the rocks on which the project leans.
The absence of transport or importation, and the ex-nihilo extraction of materials are a responsible economic choice that benefits the execution and the handwork.
This anchoring of the project to the Corsican territory by its materials, its seeking of an implementation mixing know-how and long duration, testifies of a general engagement towards contemporary architecture; which is in turn articulated around the values of modesty, demanding nature, as well as social and environmental responsibilities.