Greenstop: towards a sustainable future (Caltrans > Central Valley, California)


A propos de l'agence
Description du projet: 
Highway 5 rest area in Tipton (Ca).
Such an international competition was not launched to refurbish the toilets or the parking spots. Let’s bet it had an other ambition.

As a system of functions, it doesn’t work that bad.

Therefore we chose to focus on what we felt the most important issues.

What kind of a travel is this ? Is it only moving from point A to point B ? As a traveler, do I understand the places I am driving through ? Do I feel on earth as a predator or am I a part of a whole ? Should not my trip be a deep experience, a discovery of territories and communities, an understanding of landscape and geography ? Should I not be part of a fully sustainable way of life ? Why should my trip be a boring experience along a dull freeway while it could be rhythmical, with the beat of crossing something new every 20 mn ?

Let’s imagine every rest-stop as a break on the road, as a helping device for a close interior landscape discovery. As a mega-structure, it will make me feel passing through it, even if I remain on the main lanes. The road-side arches, metaphor of the mountains, will include plant-screens and shelters, solar cells and lightings, or even these new self lighting materials.

This façade is a meccano, always the same, always adaptable, which will include all the devices any site would need. It is a structure with infinite evolution possibilities. It could be a new Caltrans signal.

But the rest-area complex includes the transversal direction too. If I stop, it will help me enjoy transversal views, and understand the valley width with its two mountain lines with the “99” running like a river in it. The transversal system is made with a cascade of rain water tanks and garden ponds, with fountains and under-structure shaded parking spots and pathways. This structure will shelter a wide range of services like security and police offices (with 360° view), valley market, restrooms, etc…

How should we take root in this site ? Should we agree to relocate the trucks parking ? We don’t believe so. Thanks to our vegetal arches, trucks are hidden from freeway view. The gardens are away from the road, with views on the real outside landscape. If we had moved the trucks to periphery, we’d have both destroyed the views from the rest area and damaged outside landscape with truck visual pollution. And their existing location is a very efficient one.

Large gardens, including picnic areas will be provided. They will be landscape designed, with always different themes, to be an expression of the landscapes, the territories we are crossing without seeing them. Trees will bring natural shadow for parking spots, while solar panel orchards will shelter pedestrian paths.

Let’s summarize :

Let’s make green towards country side
Let’s be green on roadside
Année de réalisation: 

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