Urban reconversation

Industrial forest
Couvet, Switzerland


Program : Urban Planning and Renovation
Location : Couvet, Switzerland
Design team : BOM architecture, Ilana Cohen paysagiste
Area : 160 000 m²
Cost : not estimated
Mission: Competition
Date : 2013

To encounter the city of Couvet for the first time is to seize upon its rich and varied landscapes of forests managed with the classical plenter system, parks, hiking, paths, gorges and wetlands. These diverse and overlapping landscapes confer a unique quality on the surrounding territory of the Areuse river valley and broadly describe a geographic and urban entity called the nine communes.

The Dubied factory nevertheless deserves to be approached differently from the vantage point of historical events which have left a lasting mark on the site: firstly, a moratorium placed on the company in 1988 and secondly the inevitable and ensuing densification of the Dubied and Lechere sites caused in part by the arrival of the new train station and the general expansion of the site’s center of commercial activity.

The project consists in softening, widening, and amplifying the riverbanks, and linking the Areuse to nearby conservation areas through a network of planted corridors. This is widening is accomplished using various strategies adapted to the multiple urban, programmatic, and ecological needs of the site.