The 8th annual Geste d’Or competition, which recognises exemplary projects focused on the heritage of the past, the present and the future, once again rewarded the operating excellence of VINCI Construction France. The French leader in building and civil engineering won four awards at the 2018 International Cultural Heritage Fair held at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris from 24 to 28 October. Three projects carried out by VINCI Construction France and its subsidiaries were also included in the Grand Prix Cultivez, Bâtissez la même Terre award presented to VINCI Construction. These distinctions reflect VINCI Construction France’s expertise and know-how in the field of historic monument restoration and architectural heritage conservation.
The Geste d’Or competition annually recognisesprojects that set an example in sustainability, people management and balanced financial engineering.
The Geste d’Or focuses not only the heritage itself but also on its adaptation to the present and on future construction. The 2018 competition once again recognised VINCI Construction France’s approach to the art of building and the commitment of its teams to heritage enhancement based on careful attention to ecology, economy and ethics.
Geste d’Or Grand Prix Architecture, Innovation Sociale et Économique award: restructuring of the building at 8-10 rue Charles V (Paris 4th arrondissement), GTM Bâtiment
Located in the heart of Paris’s historic and historically preserved Marais neighbourhood, the 17th century building at 10, rue Charles V is a former mansion that has undergone a large number of transformations over the years. The adjacent building and annexes at 8, rue Charles V date back to 1938. The project involved demolition, reconstruction and restoration of the existing structures to create a contemporary multipurpose complex accommodating laboratories and apartments (55 units) on a single plot of land. For the project teams, the three main challenges lay in putting together large usable volumes while conserving the open spaces of the original structures (courtyard and garden); restoring the heritage elements selected for individual enhancement; and lastly new construction, all in a dense and restricted urban environment. The complex at 8-10 rue Charles V is an exceptional structure in which existing and restored materials blend perfectly with the new spaces.
Geste d’Or Grand Prix Chantier award: Couvent des Jacobins monastery in Rennes, Sogea Bretagne BTP
The iconic Couvent des Jacobins project in the centre of Rennes was carried out to give the original monastery buildings, which date back to the 14th century and are listed as a Historic Monument, a new lease on life. The complex now houses the 38,000 sq. metre Rennes Convention Centre and contains three concert halls, some 20 meeting rooms, an exhibition space and several restaurants. The four-year project was a technical challenge that notably included the rehabilitation of the monument by Degaine, a VINCI Construction France subsidiary. Among other things, Degaine restored the stone facings, replaced 370 cu. metres of dressed stone, applied 6,000 sq. metres of lime plaster and installed 1,900 sq. metres of terracotta flooring.
Geste d’Or du Grand Prix Amont award: Soeurs de Saint-Joseph cloister in Annecy, ADIM Lyon
This rehabilitation project originated in a joint deliberation by the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, the City of Annecy, the Architecte des Bâtiments de France architectural review board and ADIM Lyon. The work carried out by VINCI Construction France subsidiary Citinéa will restructure the former convent, which was built in the centre of Annecy in the first half of the 17th century, into 37 apartments and two town houses, while preserving the adjacent park and opening it to the public. The exemplary rehabilitation of the historic building aims to conserve and draw attention to elements with heritage value. For example, the lime and dressed stone restoration of the facades and the renovation of the frame and tile roof will be carried out by local VINCI Construction France subsidiaries Comte and Bourgeois, which specialise in heritage and historic monument restoration.
Geste d’Argent Grand Prix Métiers award: Tour des Anges and Tour de la Garde-Robe towers at the Papal Palace in Avignon, Girard
Located in the heart of Avignon’s historic centre and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Papal Palace is an iconic example of medieval architecture. The facades and battlements of the Tour des Anges and the Tour de la Garde-Robe towers, which were built in 1342, require restoration. The teams from Girard, responsible for the “masonry – dressed stone” and “sculpture” works packages, cleaned the cladding and replaced more than 135 sq. metres of stones. The highly technical operation called for the full range of their expertise and meticulous know-how: cutting the stone to order in the workshop, installing it by chain hoist, sliding it into place on white wood wedges, repointing with lime and applying a patina made of water, hydrated lime and natural ochre to harmonise it with the original stones. The second challenge was replacement of all existing gargoyles with eight new ones. Each new gargoyle, weighing 800 kg, was drawn, sculpted and installed by workers at the top of the Tour des Anges.
Grand Prix Cultivez, Bâtissez la même Terre award
This award, presented for the first time, went to three VINCI Construction France projects.
- Urbalia2 was recognised for Biodi(V)strict®, a biodiversity simulator used to design positive biodiversity development projects that provide services for users and boost the resilience of cities.
- The second project recognised was the modernisation of the Roland Garros stadium in Paris’s 16th arrondissement, for which VINCI Construction France subsidiaries Petit and Chantiers Modernes Construction are carrying out the work in full BIM. The project comprises renovation of the Philippe Chatrier court and construction of a mobile roof, construction of a new semi-underground court surrounded by exotic greenhouses, redevelopment of the Fonds des Princes and creation of green spaces open to the public.
- SICRA Ile-de-France, a subsidiary of VINCI Construction France, was also recognised for the construction of works package 02 of the UNIC residential complex in the Clichy-Batignolles special development zone in Paris 17th arrondissement. The architecture of the mixed-use complex (housing units, some of which are surmounted by a greenhouse and a garden, day-care centre, shops and car park) is inspired by nature and has distinctive curves and bay windows. One special feature of the operation is the design of the terraces and balconies as genuine living spaces.
The Iter and Yamal (VINCI Construction Grands Projets) projects were also recognised as part of this VINCI Construction award, as was Equo Vivo (VINCI Construction Terrassement), for which Urbalia is providing support for the teams in conducting the transformation of a site in Morangis and creating an environmental demonstrator.
1. Geste d’Or is an association that works to foster the built heritage. The association, made up of six colleges, brings together qualified people who are representative of the various sector stakeholders, including architects, engineers, workers, companies of all sizes and elected officials.
2. Urbalia, a biodiversity and urban agriculture consulting firm, was founded by VINCI Construction France and AgroParisTech. It develops and markets Biodi(V)strict®.