Crossing of the A4/N4 – Doubling of the Joinville-le-Pont viaduct

  • Joinville-le-Pont, France
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Jeux d’eau… Judo…


The art of judo consists in using your opponent’s strength against him.


The art of the architect often means turning constraints into assets.


And so the question I asked myself was this: how to turn a nuisance into a pleasure?


Sight-wise and sound-wise. How to turn a place that’s seen in its urban environment as negative, repulsive, into a positive architectural structure that will be championed as attractive, a jewel?


When I was working on the Jardin des Tuileries rehabilitation project, I proposed a linear fountain that would stretch out along the 200-metre-long Terrasse des Feuillants and be programmed like a musical score so as to absorb the traffic noise from the rue de Rivoli…




Here, we have the water of the Marne. A source of heavy noise pollution…

Noise is deemed to be positive or negative in a largely psychological way.

No one complains about the noise of the sea…

How to change the psychological impact of noise is a familiar challenge with various solutions, such as the use of background music in open-plan office spaces…


Here, I propose to turn the nasty aggressive decibels of cars and trucks into the nice soothing decibels of cascades and waterfalls and, while we’re at it, to make use of the 750-me tre-long curve of the artwork that is the quadruple motorway as a matrix for a double cascade, in an unprecedented architectural and environmental event.


It will be a waterfall bridge, a spectacle of water and light that keeps going in all weathers, at all hours. By day, vehicles will be mere furtive phantom shadows behind the water.


By night, the speed at which headlights and tail-lights move will create running horizontal lines in red, gold and silver.


Within its larger surrounds, the spectacle will be simple, tranquil, grandiose.


The area will turn into a place to walk to from the banks of the Marne, a place to meditate or have fun in, coming from the Bois de Vincennes or the streets of Champigny, where restaurants and gastrobars could profitably be set up.


The waterfall bridge will span the Marne. Water will tumble down into water.

A simple machine (permanent or automated) will mean the river’s boat lanes can be kept.


This structure will be an esthetic event of a kind that will change the quai de Polangis and bring waterside promenades back into vogue.