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Bougy-Villars: a multi-use and multi-generational village center

ID card
  • Project name: Heart of Bougy-Villars

  • Location town/canton: Bougy-Villars, canton of Vaud

  • Type of project: Public space

  • Project start date: early 2022

  • Delivery date: spring 2024

  • SIA stages: 31 to 53

The brief

Welcome to Bougy-Villars, a historic village nestled on the hillsides with a magnificent view of Lake Geneva. Our project, a public square, is right in the center of this municipality. Due to the topography, the action zone is divided into two spaces with an upper part completely disconnected from the lower square connected to the village.

Initially, our mission on this mandate was to replace a playground. Over time, new needs have emerged and changed the demand to finally become a real heart of the village with multiple public spaces, facilitating encounters.

Recreate public space to revitalize the heart of the village

More than just a public square, the concept of this project is to revitalize the center of the village through the creation of new uses. In this kind of place with rugged topography, there is a lack of public spaces where people can meet.  

We therefore emptied this central square of cars to give it to users. Then, we worked on the connection (visual and physical) between the upper part and the lower part by offering areas for games, meetings, relaxation...

First challenge of the project: increase the usable surface. For this, we come to create trays on several levels to regain space. On the high park, children's games are integrated into the embankment to complete the plot with various amenities (outdoor amphitheater, picnic table, seating, relaxation area).

As an extension, a wooden belvedere on stilts allows you to reconnect with a magnificent view of the lake. The lower square, more urban, is connected to the village with access to the cellar, the bus stop opposite and parking areas.

Mark the duality between a high park and a minimalist urban square

The bias of this project is to mark this duality between the upper part and the lower part, in particular through the work of plants and materials. For the urban square below, the idea is to be minimalist and light to fit into the historic developments of the town and respond to access constraints. The existing porphyry pavers are partly retained and completed with deactivated concrete in the same shade. The raw and mineral atmosphere of the bottom contrasts with the upper part, vegetal and fresh. We have favored natural and permeable materials, which are more up to date. This duality reinforces the singular topography of the place.

The aesthetic work of the plant palette

In a project of public spaces like this, the work of the plant palette is above all aesthetic. Plants give way to ambiances, atmospheres adapted to each place.

For the new heart of the village of Bougy-Villars, we worked on shapes, colors and templates to create harmony. For the lower part, we have chosen umbrella trees to provide shade. In the upper part, we have rather selected small trees so as not to obstruct the view. We played on the colors of the green embankments to draw the eye to the back of the plot from the car park.

An assembly of vegetal micropallets to create a landscape within the large landscape.

New meeting spaces in the heart of a historic village on the hillsides

The greatest success on this project? To have developed it with the support of the population. Our initial mandate was reduced to the replacement of children's games and turned into a much more daring and expensive project. It took long negotiations with the different stakeholders, but we finally managed to rally everyone around this project. Bougy-Villars will soon have a new multi-use and multi-generational village centre.

More than a simple landscape architecture project, it is a support for creating meeting spaces and revitalizing a small historic village.