Guise : Familistère Godin

Contractor : Syndicat Mixte du Familitère Godin + Société d'Équipement de l'Aisne
BASE lanscape architect mandatory + atelier Lab architects + Pierre-Yves Fafournoux ingineer
Construction : ISS espaces verts, Picardie espaces verts, Marcanterra bois & plantes


Guise / Aisne
budget 1,5 M€
surface 9 ha
completed / 2008


In March 2002, BASE won competition to design the contemporary garden of the Familistère in Guise (Aisne).
The first installment was completed in 2008, while a second one is currently in progress.
Situated on an ancient nine hectare island characterised by poplar plantations, the garden is regularly inundated by the severe flooding of the river Oise.
30,000 m3 of earthworks were necessary to construct an embankment on an oxbow lake of the Oise and soften the general profile of the banks, all of which form a promenade by the water. The garden is divided into 400 triangular parcels of 100 to 700 sq.m each, and consist of four different planted matters: shrub, bush, meadow and grass.
The public played a part in the works through a plant sponsoring system that BASE had proposed during the competition phase.
A 6000 sq.m lagoon/filtration corridor purifies water from the river Oise and feeds it into an outside basin with pebbles and small white concrete areas. Wooden pontoon-paths allow for all-season ‘dry-foot’ navigation through the garden.
This cosiness/comfort in the outdoors comes as a tribute to the controversial, charismatic and enlightened entrepreneur Jean-Baptiste Godin (1817-1888) who envisioned this site as a way to give back to his employees by providing them with high-quality housing and outdoor spaces.